Five years ago I went on assignment from Strauss to the U.S. Today, as CEO of Strauss-PepsiCo Fresh Dips and Spreads, I would like to share with you our journey to spread the hummus culture in various countries around the world. Today’s global world offers an endless variety. This is a world in which we all see, read and become exposed to cultures and experiences from other countries, often without even getting out of our own country. Today’s media enables us to bring together different cultures, people and tastes. Against this background, we chose to bring hummus, which is a household commodity in Israel and available on every street corner there, to new countries as well.
Our journey began with a partnership between PepsiCo and Strauss in the U.S., under which Sabra brought hummus from the Mediterranean to the homes of millions of Americans. Sabra exposed the U.S. market to new flavors, a different eating style and social and family forms of consumption. After six years of activity, Sabra is today available in almost every supermarket, and hummus has long become an everyday product in the U.S. For Israeli consumers, hummus is a “given” – It can be found in every refrigerator, in every meal and every party, but not so in various countries around the world.
Sabra’s success in the U.S., which increased the hummus market ten-fold since PepsiCo and Strauss embarked on their journey, inspired us to take more trips, extend our reach to new geographies and continue to spread the hummus culture in the world.
This long journey is underlined by our belief and commitment to take part and make a difference, to bring a quality, fresh and healthy food product to consumers and improve their lives with it. Under the partnership between global PepsiCo and Strauss Group we work with diverse people from various places, who originate from different culinary cultures. In order to connect them to the long-standing hummus heritage and to transfer it to new areas, it is important to make the connection from its most genuine and authentic location. So we initiate periodic visits by PepsiCo-Strauss employees and managers, and arrange an in-depth introduction to hummus “through the stomach.”
The Strauss-PepsiCo team arrives in Israel from different countries, languages and religions. They come to know, taste, experience, try and discover the world of hummus. It is amazing to see how hummus brings together cultures, people and experiences. They are all seated around one table full of goodies, very colorful and diverse, “wiping” one of the hummus varieties and even sharing the same plate. Although some guests seem a bit concerned at first… toward the end they all open up and have a great time.
This visit provides us with a rare opportunity to share with our partners the local culture and knowledge, teach them “hummus customs” and equip them with tools that will enable them to pass on their experiences to their domestic market.
I invite you to take a peek at the culinary trip of my guests in an authentic location in the Middle East, and watch the memories that they will take with them to “faraway lands”. I hope you will enjoy this journey of ”the Knights of Hummus”.