Hummus to replace salsa as official dip of NFL

National Football League (NFL) chooses Sabra Dipping as its official dips sponsor as company launches major campaign to bring the Mid-Eastern delicacy to American dinner tables.

By Daniel Koren


The National Football League has declared hummus the official dip of the NFL, promoting the Middle Eastern delicacy to the vast population of football fans that exist across America.

Specifically, the league chose Sabra Dipping Co., owned by PepsiCo Inc., as its official dips sponsor.

The decision comes just as the company approved its first batch of US television commercials, most likely part of a substantial campaign to bring hummus to the American masses.

Hummus to replace salsa as most popular dip for NFL gatherings? Photo: EPA

Hummus to replace salsa as most popular dip for NFL gatherings? – Photo: EPA

Ronen Zohar, the Israeli-born CEO of Sabra, is confident that the hummus trend will catch on in the States, and that hummus will take over mayo as the next big dip to accompany cold cuts and vegetarian sandwiches.

One commercial, labeled “a guide to good dipping,” displays the different kinds of hummus Sabra offers, and the variety of items you can dip, including chicken wings, carrots, celery, and chips. Coincidentally, the typical Monday Night Football smorgasbord. The commercial goes on to advise viewers to “dip life to the fullest.”

Zohar realizes, though, that his work is cut out for him.

Currently, salsa is (obviously) the most popular dip for NFL gatherings and Super Bowl parties, producing double the sales hummus does.

However, hummus-like spreads have been growing by 14% in the States.

“Most of the people in the US never tasted hummus,” Zohar told Bloomberg. “You have to change their mindset that even if the name is strange and the brown color of the hummus is not as appetizing, it tastes wonderful.”


3-stage plan

The most recent Sabra commercials show hummus being spread on a sandwich, which Zohar says is the second step of a three-stage plan for hummus to dominate the dip market in the US. The first and third stages are dipping it and eating hummus as a side dish, just like it’s done in Israel.

“We are only now at the first stage,” said Zohar. “It’s only an issue of time.”

But “when people taste hummus,” he added, “they change their mind about it.”

Sabra, a joint venture between PepsiCo and Tel Aviv-based Strauss Group Ltd. (STRS), currently occupies 60% of the American refrigerated flavored-spreads market, according to Information Resources Inc. In recent years, Sabra has skyrocketed into people’s refrigerators, taking the lead over Kraft, which used to be industry leader.

To increase Sabra’s presence on the market, Zohan had millions of samples handed out door-to-door, and used Pepsi’s connections to persuade retailers.

Sales of refrigerated flavored spreads have since improved immensely in grocery chains.

So when the NFL begins next season, and you’re cheering for your team, whether it be the New England Patriots or the Buffalo Bills, make sure to wash down that cold, refreshing lager by dipping that suicide-flavored chicken wing into a nice plate of tasty hummus. Cheers.

Reprinted  from Shalom Life

View original Ynet publication at:,7340,L-4404071,00.html