Dips and spreads work for everything. From snacking in front of the television alone or with family, to service for the most formal and black tie affairs and everything in between, dips and spreads will satisfy consumers in one configuration or another. As the popularity of dips and spreads grows, the traditional presentations and options for serving have evolved as well.

The healthy eating movement in America has grown and continues to grow more every day. Americans still seek out new eating habits and healthier foods without risking flavor and variety. Americans have found the Mediterranean diet as a result of this continuous quest to eat healthier while still enjoying good tasting food. Hummus falls into this category and consumers have adopted and embraced it.

What is it?

Hummus is a spread or dip made with chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and salt. Sometimes it has other added ingredients, like red pepper or pine nuts. The medical benefits of hummus make it very popular in today’s food world. Traditionally in America, diners eat hummus as a dip with pita bread or pita chips. The market has exploded with different flavors of hummus and this has led to a different way of using and cooking with it.

New Uses

If you do not carry a large variety of hummus in your store, you should. Consumers want hummus. They want it for snacking and dipping, but promoting hummus in new ways and in new applications means moving more product out the door, a situation that benefits everyone involved.

This year, Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods launched seven New All Natural Hommus Flavors. The flavors represent a campaign on Cedar’s part to introduce new applications for the popular dish, and while the possibilities are endless, a few new applications might be the easiest to start with.

One of the easiest ways to incorporate hummus in a new way is simply to use it as a sandwich spread in place of condiments that might not be as healthy. Sandwich makers also have the option to use it in place of cheese. However, for those more daring, with a greater desire to experiment, the Cedar’s flavors will lend themselves to cooking.

Mix hummus with olive oil to thin it out a little bit and use it as a pasta sauce, says Aimee Tsakirellis, director of marketing for Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods. Use it for cooking casseroles and other dishes, as well. Or just spread it on top of a nice steak as a topping, she adds.

The future of hummus remains open. As a spread or dip, or as an ingredient in a new culinary invention, it’s a must for all supermarket deli and foodservice department.