Demand for healthy snacks is increasing – not just in between meals, but also on the go, with health benefits playing an important role. So, consumers are looking for convenient products that can bridge the gap between health and indulgence.
One of the healthy snacks seeing a surge as a result of these developments is hummus. Loved for its versatility, for its convenience, and for being a plant-based option with less climate impact, hummus has achieved a position as a fridge staple in many markets.
The interesting thing about hummus – or more accurately the humble chickpea – is that it sits at the intersection of several key consumer trends. As a result, sales of hummus are predicted to grow at a rate of almost 13% per year until 2027, according to Market Research Future.
What are those trends? First, you have the growth of veganism, which has moved from the periphery to become a mainstream lifestyle choice. The growth of the vegan consumer has driven people to the delights of hummus. High in protein, iron, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals, hummus ticks the box as a plant-based food for the ever-growing number of vegetarians and vegans. In the US alone, the share of consumers identifying as vegan grew from 1% in 2014 to 6% in 2017 (Global Data), a 600% increase in just a three-year period.
Secondly, millennials love hummus. According to research from marketing firm The Halo Group, millennials are the most health-conscious generation ever. Chickpeas, the main ingredient in hummus, are packed with protein and fibre and are also high in iron, folate, phosphorus, and B vitamins. This makes them the perfect staple food for savvy millennials seeking to maximise the health benefits of the products they consume.
Thirdly, in a world where lifestyles are increasingly hectic and the need for healthy bitesize formats is crucial, hummus is seen as a highly convenient product. It is also versatile, as it can be consumed as an appetiser, sandwich spread or dip.
New innovations are expanding hummus beyond its traditional flavours and textures to include new twists such as lemon and coriander, roasted tomato, red pepper, or even chocolate.
Tetra Pak has developed a mixer model in the High Shear Mixer series that is specially designed to handle chickpeas, beans and other vegetables. It has the option of a special bin lift for adding the chickpeas into the mixing tank ergonomically. It also has several design refinements for the mixing and processing of chickpeas, including a built-in heating jacket and nozzles for steam injection. This mixer forms the heart of a processing line for making hummus.
Regardless of whether there is a preference for batch or continuous production, pasteurization or sterilization, there is a concept that fits. Filling possibilities range from chilled to aseptic distribution and storage.
If you are interested in producing hummus, you can join us at our product development centres (virtually or physically) and meet our food experts. Here you can define the process and set the parameters required to deliver the product quality you want, and to secure a smooth production scale-up to meet your specific needs.