'Hummus is gaining momentum globally as a delicious feel good-food'

Sabra appoints Tomer Harpaz as its new CEO: 'We are witnessing the emergence of the next wave of hummus in the US...'

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Tomer Harpaz: 'Hummus is more than a dip...'
Tomer Harpaz: 'Hummus is more than a dip...'
The nation’s leading hummus brand – Sabra - has appointed Strauss Coffee CEO Tomer Harpaz as its new CEO, replacing Shali Shalit-Shoval, who recently returned home to family overseas after five years with the company.

"We are witnessing the emergence of the next wave of hummus in the US,​" claimed Harpaz, who will oversee Sabra and Obela, another joint venture between PepsiCo and the Strauss Group that sells fresh-tasting dips and spreads outside North America.

"At its origin, hummus is more than a dip and can be the base for a delicious meal. Hummus is gaining momentum globally as a delicious feel good-food, one that delivers on taste and empowers you to feel great about having made a good choice. Chefs in some of the food scene's trendiest spots are embracing plant-based hummus, placing it on the menu as starter or entree… and at home, consumers are beginning to adopt new behaviors as well.”

Sabra household penetration and share back up to historically high levels post recall

While the voluntary recall​ of Sabra products in late 2016 driven by concerns over listeria was a learning experience for the brand, the speed with which it recovered is a testament to the brand’s resilience, Seth Kaufman, head of PepsiCo's North American Nutrition business told FoodNavigator-USA in March.

“We’ve rebounded well post the recall, but what was most encouraging was the passion that consumers have for this brand in an increasingly crowded space. Very shortly after we were back in the market, our household penetration and share was back up to historically high levels.”

On the go plant protein

Asked about growth opportunities for the brand, he said: “My team and I don’t like to think in terms of category conventions, as it really restricts you, so for me, the size of the prize if you are asking about Sabra, for example, is ‘on the go plant protein,’ rather than just hummus, so we’ve paired hummus and guacamole with pretzels or pita chips in single serve cups, and we’ll also look to do the same with our new bean dips.

“We’re doing some work with retailers now on re-engineering parts of their perimeter to be oriented around consumer needs rather than categories.”

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