Sabra Dipping Co., a White Plains, New York-based hummus maker, has named Tomer Harpaz as its new CEO. Harpaz replaces Shali Shalit-Shoval, who recently returned home to family overseas after five years with the company.
Sabra, which operates as a joint venture between PepsiCo and Strauss Group in North America, says it has about a 60 percent market share in the U.S. through its dozen-plus varieties of hummus and other on-the-go products, which are available nationally.
For the past four years, Harpaz has served as CEO of Strauss Coffee. He will oversee both Sabra and Obela, another joint venture between PepsiCo and the Strauss Group that sells dips and spreads outside North America.
Prior to joining Strauss Coffee in 2010, Harpaz served as a member of Strauss Group’s management team and as EVP of strategy, business development and technology. There, he established The Kitchen FoodTech Hub and Alpha Strauss, food and tech incubator think tanks. Before that, he served as CEO of management consulting firm P.O.C., which specializes in developing growth strategies across range of industries. He also served as CEO of ARA Minerals and was co-founder and chairman of Re:bar Ltd., described as a “fresh healthy drink” chain. He holds an LL.B. from the University of East Anglia and a postgraduate diploma in business administration from the University of Hull.
“I have admired Sabra’s trajectory and am eager to work with this talented team to grow a category with massive potential,” said Harpaz. “Hummus first captured the attention of U.S. consumers approximately 10 years ago, with Sabra ushering its introduction. Today, many U.S. consumers have already discovered hummus as a dip, and that has been the driving force behind the success of the category to date.”
He added, “Now, we are witnessing the emergence of the next wave of hummus in the U.S. At its origin, hummus is more than a dip and can be the base for a delicious meal. Hummus is gaining momentum globally as a delicious feel-good food, one that delivers on taste and empowers you to feel great about having made a good choice. Chefs in some of the food scene’s trendiest spots are embracing plant-based hummus, placing it on the menu as starter or entree… and at home, consumers are beginning to adopt new behaviors as well. We recognize and welcome the emergence of the next groundswell of hummus consumption in the U.S. and, as the category leader, we are eager to propel it further.”
According to IRI, the U.S. fresh dips category is estimated at $2.15 billion, excluding foodservice and some club stores. Hummus represents more than 37 percent of the fresh dips category.
With more than a dozen varieties of hummus, Sabra’s portfolio includes items that are non-GMO, vegetarian, organic, gluten-free, kosher and vegan and can be found nationwide in club stores, supermarkets, specialty retailers, through foodservice and at online retailers.
Sabra also has made a commitment to the environment; its manufacturing facility in Chesterfield County, Virginia, has earned Gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification program.