Former Tobacco Fields Now Grow Chickpeas To Serve America’s Growing Hummus Addiction

Fewer Americans smoke today, which is a really good thing for our collective health and finances as a nation. It’s not so good for farmers in the areas of Virginia and the Carolinas that once were tobacco country. However, it just so happens that there’s a new addiction sweeping the nation that those farmers can profit from. Americans just can’t stop gobbling hummus.

Most chickpeas in the U.S. are grown in the Pacific Northwest. That means that a blight, freak weather, or crop failure could jeopardize the flow of delicious refrigerated garlicky bean paste from the factories of major food conglomerates to our mouths. Oh, yes–America’s biggest food companies are in on this craze. Sabra, the biggest seller of hummus, is a joint venture between PepsiCo and Israel’s Strauss Group. They’re the ones recruiting farmers in Virginia to try growing chickpeas.

A crop failure could jeopardize the hummus market, which reached $530 million last year. Sales have grown more than 10% each of the last two years.

Hummus Is Conquering America [Wall Street Journal]