Hummus is a longtime favorite on menus for its versatility and health halo. Nowadays, operators across segments are menuing new and creative takes on this Mediterranean classic to generate excitement and appeal to diners who follow alternative diets.
From grab-and-go snacks to additional vegetarian options, here are four new ways to offer a creative riff on this popular option.
1. Off the appetizer tray and into the deli
According to Technomic’s2016 Sandwich Consumer Trend Report, powered by Ignite, about 24% of consumers would order hummus on lunch or dinner sandwiches. Using hummus either as a sauce or condiment or as a main filling for a sandwich is a great option for vegetarians as well as diners looking for lighter fare.
For instance, at Virginia Polytechnic Institute’s Lavery Hall, diners can enjoy the Yes to Go Red Pepper Hummus Sandwich, while The University of Maryland’s The Diner dining hall offers the Moroccan Squash Sourdough sandwich, which also features hummus, peppers, and onions. At the University of Vermont Medical Center, diners can create their own sandwich, with one of the options featuring hummus as the main filling.
2. Unique and unexpected flavors
Consumers are familiar with plain hummus and typically know what flavors they can expect to find alongside it—for instance, feta cheese, tomato, cucumber, pepper, garlic, onion, olive and red pepper are all common flavors associated with hummus, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor.
Create intrigue by serving hummus with new and unexpected flavors. Try cilantro, which has grown 10.8% year-over-year; curry, which has grown 7.5% year-over-year; or blue cheese, which has grown 5.4%. These flavors, whether blended into the hummus or used as a topping, will keep people coming back to try what’s new and exciting in a familiar favorite. Other trending flavors to consider pairing with hummus include beet, cheddar, Caesar or sumac.
3. Convenient snack packs
In Technomic’s 2017 College & University Consumer Trend Report,powered by Ignite, 32% of consumers say more grab-and go options would appeal to them, while 24% say the same about portable and handheld options. Offering portable snacking options that include portions of veggies, pretzels or pita chips and hummus is a great way to appeal to busy, on-the-go-diners who want to eat something healthy.
Be sure to package grab-and-go products in secure packaging so that they don’t spill. High-quality packaging also helps ensure these foods stay fresh and great-tasting, helping encourage a return visit.
4. Nutritional powerhouse combinations
Finally, try combining healthy ingredients to create nutritious meals that diet-conscious eaters will enjoy. For example, at University of California Los Angeles’ Bruin Plate dining hall, diners can choose a kale hummus, winter greens and red quinoa flatbread or a tuna and lentil hummus stacker. According to the College & University report, about a third (32%) of consumers say that more healthy food and beverage options are a main driver for meal purchases on campus, so offering these nutrient-packed options can be a business boost.
In just three refreshingly simple steps, with Bush’s Best® Classic Hummus Made Easy® you can serve fresh-made hummus that’ll have your guests marveling with delight. Learn more and explore tempting ways to use hummus.