Hummus has gone mainstream, to the tune of $325 million, according to data provided by Symphony IRI Group. In 1995, hummus was a $5 million business led by a smattering of companies. It was recently featured in the Dining Section of the New York Times.
But according to some kashrus officials, it poses the same challenges as another mainstream food: bagels. One rabbi said that he has on occasion warned his congregants to make sure that the bagels they eat are kosher certified.
“It’s not just flour and water,” he said he told them. “You have to know what else goes into the mix and you certainly have to be wary about equipment and utensils used.”
Now he says, he will be reminding his congregants to be equally as vigilant with hummus. The Times, in fact, featured both Holy Land and Sabra, but only the latter has kosher certification.
One kashrus official said that he was aware of people who otherwise observe kashrus of consuming hummus in a non-kosher restaurant.
Sabra, which is owned by PepsiCo, is taking full advantage of the growing acceptance of hummus. It is advertising nationally and its products are now routinely available in many public places like airports.