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Foodies forced to fork out more for hummus

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IT IS the go-to sandwich filler for clean eaters across

But a steep rise in chickpea prices may spell an end to hummus as we know it.

A global shortage of chickpeas caused by poor crop yields has triggered a 29 per cent rise in the off-the-shelf value of hummus, according to trade magazine The Grocer.

A 310g pot of the spread will now set consumers back an average of £1.47 – some 33p more than the same time last year.

Now shopkeepers are being forced back to the drawing board in an attempt to keep their customers satisfied.

“It’s terrible,” said Sarah Cotton, who has run Smorl’s Houmous Falafel and Salad Bar in the Open Market, Brighton, for three years.

“I’ve watched the price go up gradually since I started selling hummus eight years ago.

“We try to keep ours the same price, but what I would like to do is move towards locally sourced beans.”

Smorl’s chickpeas are grown in Turkey and sold by the sackful in London.

But the cafe is giving serious consideration to replacing chickpeas – the main ingredient in its chickpea and falafel dishes – with fava beans.

Otherwise known as the broad bean, the vegetable is native to the UK, making it a much cheaper option than importing hummus.

Last year, 500,000 tonnes of it were grown nationwide.

Suffolk company Hodmedod’s is one of the market leaders and Smorl’s is already stocking its produce ahead of phasing out hummus for good.

“This may be the future,” said Sarah.

“The sort of people who like our quality hummus also like the idea of eating locally sourced food.”

Smorl’s recently went entirely vegan to meet growing demand for plant-based products.

Sarah said: “We are supporting the ethos of veganism.

“There are several other businesses like us in the city.”

She said she has not yet adopted an exclusively vegan diet herself but wants to in the near future.

Widespread hummus shortages were reported last April following a rush in demand, with Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer all running out.

Popular brand Me Too! has now hiked its prices by19p for a 500g pot as the market threatens to become a victim of its own success.


Source: The Argus