With this surge in consumer demand for hummus has come a proliferation of brands that increasingly are crowding the refrigerator case. As a result, many brands are struggling to differentiate themselves by offering innovative twists on flavors (think Thai Coconut Curry or Chocolate) or base ingredients (such as swapping edamame, beets and lentils for the classic chickpea paste).
But one company – Baruvi Fresh – is taking an entirely different approach to set its hummus apart.
The health food company recently launched Hummustir as a shelf-stable hummus that literally sets itself apart from the competition by giving the refrigerator sector – and the plethora of brands vying for the limited space – the cold shoulder.
The refrigerated hummus segment is “completely saturated” so that finding space, and then standing out, would be too challenging for a new brand, Alon Kruvi, managing director of Baruvi Fresh, says in this episode of FoodNavigator-USA’s Soup-To-Nuts podcast, which also discusses the rise of hummus' popularity in the US.
Kruvi explains in the episode that a shelf-stable hummus gives consumers more versatility in how they use the product – allowing them to carry it to picnics or pack it in lunches where it will not be refrigerated but will still be safe to eat.
It also gives the brand channel flexibility because the product can easily be stocked by retailers, such as convenient stores or cafes, that have limited refrigeration units. Plus, they also do not need to worry so much about shipping and longer term storage as the product will remain safe for up to two years.
Embracing a threat
The product also is unique in that it embraces the emerging DIY food and beverage movement that is changing the way consumers approach packaged food.
Rather than offering consumers pre-mixed hummus, Baruvi neatly packages each ready-to-blend ingredient for the dip in separate pouches that are tidily packed in a paper cup with a wooden spoon so that consumers can make “fresh, delicious hummus at home or on the go,” says Kruvi.
He explains in this episode of Soup-To-Nuts podcast why the DIY food movement is not a threat to packaged foods, but rather an opportunity.
“This trend is really amazing. The options that are out there on the market today for average home cooks to prepare a gourmet meal is made so simple compared to what it used to be years back when you had to source your product, your recipes and get directions from your grandmother on how to actually make [a dish]. … Now you have these kits that are no-brainers where literally you order what you want to make and everything is laid out for you. The prep work is done, the sourcing is done and you get the recipe,” he said.
“Hummustir is a natural fit into this trend,” he added, explaining, “you can feel like you made your own hummus. You know what you are putting on your plate … rather than opening a tin or a refrigerated preserved product. You are making something fresh … and your pride goes in with the product as well.”
In this way, Hummustir becomes more than just a packaged food – it becomes an experience. And as marketers are discovering, younger shoppers increasingly want experiences rather than just goods.