My first ever blog post! Yep. Never thought that would happen. But it really is very exciting. Specially on a topic we, Balila, built an entire concept after. Don’t worry I’m not pitching. Just letting you know how all this started 😊
So hummus it is. An infamous middle eastern dish and its journey all the way to North America. How many dishes around the world have you heard of wars being waged for? Not many right? Well, hummus is one of them. Maybe the only one! They’re called “the hummus wars”. Stretched across years between Israel and Lebanon. The weapon of choice? Largest hummus plate ever. The current title holder is Lebanon, until further notice.
But this is not about wars - although if all wars are like this one, then the world would’ve been a better place. This is about a journey of a dip, a complete underdog, that has been, for several years now, the best selling refrigerated dip in North America. So fast growing in fact, that multinationals started paying attention and taking action. Pepsi for example, bought 50% of Sabra in 2008, a company that owns 60% market share of hummus sales in the United states; and Kraft foods own Athenos.
Even US farmers wanted a piece of the pie and, in a record switch, 213,000 acres of tobacco were replaced by chickpea seeds.
As for the North American consumer, a very big fan. After all, consumer demand was the very reason behind its best-selling rank among refrigerated dips.
I am Lebanese. As in the current holder of the world’s largest hummus dip (ok not me but my country). But I kid you not, it wasn’t until my recent years in North America, namely, Vancouver, Canada, that I understood the commotion hummus has created. I guess it’s so loved but underrated in my country; so consumed but unnoticed. You may ask: how could it be if you fought a hummus war? Well, it’s all politics 😉
Hummus is Like a hidden gem. A gem that was only discovered, and truly profited on, in North America.
My first blog post. I promise I’ll get better with time 😊
~ Mazen Sukkarieh, Co Founder of Balila ~