Boar's Head has made dark chocolate hummus, which debuted last year as a limited-edition offering, a permanent part of its hummus portfolio, the company said in a release.
The decision came after the new flavor became "an unprecedented favorite among consumers," Boar's Head said. The product is the company's 10th hummus flavor.
"With the permanent addition of Boar's Head Dark Chocolate Dessert Hummus, we're continuing our long-standing commitment to providing quality, premium products while satisfying consumer needs," Carlos Giraldo, Boar's Head's senior vice-president of marketing and innovation, said in the release. "This hummus provides a guilt-free indulgence without compromising on taste, and that is something Boar's Head enthusiasts have relished."
Hummus manufacturers are developing trendy new flavors to push their products into breakfast, snack and after-dinner occasions. But so far, major players such as Sabra, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods haven't ventured into the dessert space.
Most of the deli meat, cheese and condiment producer's hummus varieties are savory, with flavors including roasted red pepper, roasted garlic, kalamata olive tapenade and fiery chipotle pepper. This makes the dark chocolate variety unique, both within its own portfolio and the broader product category. Boar's Head suggests consumers enjoy the sweet hummus with fresh fruit, pretzels, crackers or as a spread on waffles or toast — which gives the product breakfast, snack and dessert flexibility.
While the company is marketing the dark chocolate variety as more of an indulgent and flavorful snack or dessert than a healthy alternative, its new hummus contains steamed chickpeas, organic sugar, sunflower oil, cocoa powder and other easily understandable ingredients, which some consumers may view as a better-for-you choice compared to other chocolate products.
If products like these can capture long-term growth, bigger category players may introduce dessert varieties of their own to boost their stakes in the hummus segment, which is expected to hit $1.104 billion by 2022, according to Market Research Future.
It's possible that a rise in dessert hummus varieties could stir up more calls for a legal definition of hummus. Sabra, which boasts 60% market share in the U.S., wants to exclude from using the term manufacturers making the spread from ingredients such as lentils and black beans and leaving out core ingredients like tahini. Still, the federal government hasn't entertained the company's argument so far, leaving the hummus field wide open for new and creative entries.