Perhaps it’s because of the growing trend in which consumers’ desire healthier food
; perhaps it’s the combination of flavor and portability. Whatever the reason, Sabra Dipping Company has expanded its walls three times since its initial plant opened in Richmond, VA, in 2010. While hummus has been around for decades, Sabra gets much of the credit for bringing awareness to today’s consumers. The Sabra Plant in Richmond, VA was the first stop in a Food and Beverage Media Tour hosted by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, designed to bring awareness to the diversity and innovation within Virginia’s food and beverage industry.
Sabra has the largest hummus facility in the world, as well as the most automated, and produces around 8,000 tons of hummus per month. Mass production isn’t the goal of Sabra, however its latest brand position is “kitchen fresh.” In fact, Ilya Welfed, Chief PR Officer of Seymour Public Relations, states that they aim to “create experience and be a part of your moment.” In essence, healthy isn’t the only trend that Sabra plans around; the company also recognizes the importance that Generation Y and Generation Z put on food as being part of an experience or an event. Welfeld put specific emphasis on the fact that Sabra is looking to fit into more occasions and develop more products for the specific needs that consumers face these days.
Today, Sabra Dipping Company continues to strive for innovation, not only in its signature hummus product, but also by introducing new lines into the brand. Sabra recently debuted its new line of sandwich spreads, which come in Garlic and Herb, Honey Mustard and Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper–offered to provide better-tasting and healthier alternatives to traditional sandwich condiments. Sabra has also implemented a line of gluten-free hummus, to meet the alternative dietary restrictions of some.
Accordingly, the creation of healthy and better-tasting snacking products also isn’t the only goal for Sabra. As Shali Shalit-Shoval, CEO of Sabra Dipping Company said, “As a brand dedicated to creating a fresh new way of eating and connecting, it is not enough to offer products that enhance and inspire consumption of fresh produce.” It is for those reasons that Sabra has, as of August 2016, partnered with non-profit Renew Richmond on an initiative called Plants with a Purpose.
Sabra’s partnered pilot program will begin on Sabra’s own campus in the form of an organic employee work-share garden. Sabra is one of the first companies in the U.S. to make food desert solutions the sole focus of its Corporate Social Responsibility. “We expect to grow Plants with a Purpose each year,” said Shalit-Shoval. “Our objective is to begin at home, with our employees, their families and the communities where we conduct business and then expand our reach geographically. By supporting the individuals and organizations already driving incredible grass roots efforts on the ground, we aspire to propel their success, whether through the granting of land, seeds, nutrition education, culinary inspiration or transportation. Each community will play an active role in determining the unique expression and best approach. This is a long-term commitment to make an impact and drive positive change.”
The Food Channel toured Stone Brewing Company as part of an initiative sponsored by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.