Given labor and kitchen constraints, foodservice operators need to make the most of the items in their pantry. Stretching one ingredient across menu items and even dayparts means less stress on kitchen staff and is also a way to get the most value out of food cost. With that in mind, though, it’s important to choose versatile ingredients that also have on-trend appeal, such as hummus.
Hummus is the fastest-growing Mediterranean ingredient, according to Datassential. The data also suggests that hummus menu growth will outperform 94% of all other menu items in the next four years. For operators looking for a workhorse ingredient that offers interesting flavors and broad pairing capability, hummus is a perfect option.
Here are a few tasty ways operators can integrate hummus into their menu while capitalizing on today’s hottest trends.
As a dip
When it comes to appetizers, small plates, sides and shareables, hummus is a game changer. Datassential’s Menu Trends show it’s the third most common dip on menus, after guacamole and salsa. Additionally, while Ignite menu data from Technomic shows pita bread as the most common ingredient paired with hummus on menus, it pairs perfectly with a wide variety of accompaniments. Dip everything from falafel, fresh vegetables to wings and egg rolls to offer new flavor to familiar items.
Hummus can also be mixed with other ingredients—or topped with them—to create signature offerings. For instance, blend in avocados for a guacamole-hummus hybrid, or top roasted red pepper hummus with freshly roasted peppers and pine nuts to make it heartier and elevate the flavor. And of course, a healthy drizzle of good olive oil ups the craveability of hummus dip.
As a sandwich spread
Hummus is great on sandwiches, too. According to Technomic’s 2018 Sandwich Consumer Trend Report, 31% of consumers would like restaurants to offer a wider variety of ethnic sandwiches, and that number is higher among diners ages 18 to 34 (41%). What’s more, 44% of consumers say they’d be willing to pay more for sandwiches that feature brand-name condiments or spreads.
Kronos Hummus offers an ideal option for these diners. Available in Classic, Roasted Red Pepper and Roasted Garlic varieties, Kronos Hummus adds a lower-fat layer of flavor to sandwiches. Use it in place of mayo or mustard, for instance, or let it harmonize with other Mediterranean flavors. At JPMC Chicago, staffers can enjoy the Greek Chicken Sandwich, with Kalamata relish, feta, red pepper hummus and arugula.
Hummus can also be the star of the sandwich: At the University of Maryland’s South Campus Dining Hall, diners can enjoy the Open-Faced Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Swiss Sandwich.
As a premium, protein-packed topping
Hummus, used as a dip and sandwich spread, can entice many diners, but offering it as an unexpected topping can boost appeal even more. Consumers craving something innovative may clamor for options such as a hummus-topped Greek Burger; also, operators can increase a salad’s protein and appeal by adding a dollop or two of hummus.
What’s more, classic hummus, while delicious on its own, also lends well to customization: Blended with other ingredients, hummus becomes a unique offering. For example, at Cornell University, beet hummus is offered as a salad bar topping, and at Georgia State University, jalapeno and cilantro hummus is on the menu. By having classic hummus in the pantry, operators have the opportunity to serve it in a broad range of dishes—and can add their own brand flair to make it stand out.
As consumers crave variety, meeting that need while being mindful of food cost is top of mind for operators. With versatile, flavorful ingredients such as hummus, offering diners what they’re looking for is easy—it’s one ingredient with endless possibilities. Learn more about Kronos Hummus at kronosfoodscorp.com.
This post is sponsored by Kronos Foods