Sabra (company)

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Sabra Dipping Company
Limited liability company
IndustryFood production
PredecessorSabra-Blue & White Foods
Founded1986; 33 years ago (1986) (as Sabra-Blue & White Foods)
FoundersZohar Norman
Yanko family
Headquarters
Key people
  • Tomer Harpaz (CEO)
  • Paula Fitzgerald (CFO)
  • Jason Levine (Chief Marketing Officer)
  • Stacey Zeltner (VP of Human Resources)
  • Colleen Flaherty (Head of Sales)
  • Frank Armetta (VP of Supply Chain)
  • Cherie Floyd (CTO)
  • Meiky Tollman (EVP International)
ProductsDips and spreads
RevenueUS$800 million (2016)[2]
Number of employees
500 (2014)[3]
ParentStrauss, PepsiCo
Websitesabra.com

Sabra Dipping Company, LLC is a U.S.-based company which produces Middle Eastern-style and other food products, including hummus and guacamole.[4] All Sabra products are certified kosher and vegetarian, and are available throughout the U.S. and Canada.[5][6][7] As of 2016, the company held a 60% market share for hummus sales in the United States, and was forecast to exceed $1 billion in sales in 2017.[2][8]

Growth[edit]

A container of Sabra hummus

The company was founded in 1986 by Yehuda Pearl as Sabra-Blue & White Foods.[9] The company was bought in 2005 by Israeli food manufacturer Strauss. Prior to the acquisition by Strauss, Sabra had entered into negotiations to purchase Basha hummus, which was then the leading hummus brand in Detroit. However, the deal never closed successfully, languishing for months until, it became clear that Strauss was not interested in acquiring Basha.[10]

In March 2008, Strauss entered a joint-venture partnership with Frito-Lay, a division of the multinational PepsiCo corporation. Strauss owns 50% and PepsiCo 50% of the company.[1][4][11] In November 2008, the company announced the construction of a new $61 million plant in Chesterfield County, Virginia, expected to employ 260 people and come on line in mid-2010.[12][13] The company grew over 50% between August 2008 and August 2009.[6]

By 2016, Sabra had gained a 60% market share of hummus in the United States,[8] and, through its co-ownership and sales channels with PepsiCo, was close to $1 billion in annual sales.[2] To parallel the rising consumer demand for hummus, American farmers have increased their production of chickpeas four-fold since 2009, harvesting more than 100 million pounds (45,000 metric tons) in 2015, up from about 25 million pounds (11,000 metric tons) in 2009.[14]

Marketing[edit]

During the run-up to the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Sabra commissioned sculptor Kirk Rademaker to create busts of candidates John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton out of 100 pounds of hummus.[15]

Sabra launched its first U.S. national advertising campaign in March 2009, with the StrawberryFrog ad agency.[1][16] In May 2009, the company began a series of promotional events in which it recreated "Mediterranean villages" in 11 major U.S. cities.[17] By 2015, Sabra had established greater presence among American and Canadian consumers by marketing a "cultural movement" based on a desire for people to experience hummus as an old world food with new tastes close to what they already knew.[8]

Boycott campaigns[edit]

Until 2010, the Strauss Group stated on their English-language website that the company donated food packages to the Golani Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces.[18][19] Activists in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign have called for boycotts of Sabra products over the donations.[20] Student groups at DePaul University, Princeton University, and the University of Ottawa campaigned unsuccessfully to have their schools switch to alternate brands.[21][22]

Hummus recalls[edit]

On April 8, 2015, Sabra recalled 30,000 cases of its classic hummus after a tub in Michigan tested positive for Listeria.[23] Inspectors with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) learned of the possible contamination by L. monocytogenes after routine inspections on March 30 at a Kroger in Port Huron, according to MDARD spokeswoman Jennifer Holton.[24]

On November 19, 2016, Sabra voluntarily recalled multiple hummus varieties across the U.S. after Listeria was discovered at one of its manufacturing plants, though the company stated the bacteria had not been found in any of its actual products.[25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Todd Wasserman (March 3, 2009). "Sabra Hummus Breaks National Campaign". Brandweek. Archived from the original on March 5, 2009. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c Elaine Watson (29 September 2016). "Sabra 'well on its way' to becoming our next $1bn brand, says PepsiCo". Foodnavigator-USA.com, William Reed Business Media. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  3. ^ Mark Gormis (8 October 2014). "Sabra Dipping Co. opens new plant expansion". Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, VA. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Products". Sabra Dipping Company. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  5. ^ "Sabra FAQ". Archived from the original on October 24, 2015. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Sabra Hummus Co. Transforms Union Square Park into Mediterranean Café". The New York Blueprint. September 16, 2009. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  7. ^ "Sabra Dipping". OK Kosher Certification. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Scott Goodson (5 June 2015). "The Surprising Rise of Hummus in America". Huffington Post. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  9. ^ "The Dip That Roared: How Hummus Conquered the U.S." Haaretz. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  10. ^ Zilko, Dave (2016). Irrational Persistence: Seven Secrets That Turned a Bankrupt Startup Into a $231,000,000 Business. Wiley. p. 82.
  11. ^ "Strauss Group brands: Sabra". Strauss Group. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  12. ^ "Governor Kaine Announces Sabra Dipping Company Will Open a New Food Manufacturing Plant in Chesterfield County" (PDF) (Press release). Virginia's Gateway Region Economic Development Organization. November 19, 2008. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
  13. ^ "Sabra Dipping Company, a Joint Venture Between Strauss Group and PepsiCo, Announced Plans to Open a State-of-the-art Plant in Richmond, Virginia". PRNewswire.uk. November 24, 2008. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  14. ^ Justin R. Silverman (20 April 2016). "Hummus's quest to conquer America, one mouth at a time". Today. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  15. ^ Howard, Theresa (June 30, 2008). "Ad Track: Winning ads really work for consumers". USA Today. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012.
  16. ^ Martinez, Amy; Allison, Melissa (March 13, 2009). "Savory Moment's customers come to the aid of its founder". The Seattle Times. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  17. ^ "Sabra Takes a Mediterranean Village on Tour across North America". PR Web. May 19, 2009. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  18. ^ Ron Friedman; Stephanie Hodes (December 14, 2010). "Strauss reposts IDF-support commitment on website". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  19. ^ Michal Toiba (November 18, 2010). "Strauss Group removes support for IDF from website". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  20. ^ "DePaul students reject ouster hummus brand". Quad-Cities Online. May 25, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  21. ^ "Canadian university students launch Sabra hummus boycott". Haaretz.com. March 9, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  22. ^ Tamar Lewin (December 3, 2010). "New Subject of Debate on Mideast: Hummus". The New York Times. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  23. ^ Rachel Abrams (April 9, 2015). "Listeria in Sabra Hummus Prompts New Wave of Recalls". The New York Times. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  24. ^ Robin Erb (April 16, 2015). "Listeria detection prompts national recall by Sabra". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  25. ^ Ralph Ellis (November 19, 2016). "Sabra hummus products recalled over Listeria concerns". CNN. Retrieved November 19, 2016.