Rush down to the supermarket right now and stockpile hummus. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Food industry magazine, The Grocer, has reported that the average price of a pot of our favourite beige dip has risen by a whopping 29% (that’s nearly 1/3rd) in the last year.
The reason for this over inflation is a global chickpea shortage. Crops haven’t been good in the last 12 months and there aren’t enough to go around.
My favourite hummus maker, Ramona Hazan, who produces the silky smooth and tahina-filled Me Too! has seen the prices of her tubs rise by 12p for a 250g tub.
She has been quoted by The Independent, who clearly have not met her, referring to her as they did as Ramon and male, as saying: “We have a quality product which we believe is worth paying more for. However, we do need to strike a balance which ensures we are competitively priced and makes us accessible to as many consumers as possible”.
The lovely Ramona (above) went on to say: “We would not want to lose customers as a result of retail price inflation.”
The chick pea shortage could cause middle class mayhem. I’ll see you in Sainsbury’s.
1st Feb 2018:
A quick chat with Ramona later and it turns out this story is all a storm in a hummus pot!
"Chick pea prices went up between 2015 and 2016, so this is old news" she explained to me, going on to say that it's not just ingredient prices that have gone up. Packaging costs rise every time the price of oil increases; board for packaging has gone up and so have diesel costs.
"We're working hard to combat these price increases by better practice and innovating. When chick pea prices went up, we developed a pea and mint dip and a beetroot hummus; and we've also now developed a quinoa-based falafel, which will be on the shelves in the next few months."
When, like Me Too!, you use five tonnes of chick peas a week - yes five tonnes a WEEK(!) - and the price goes up then you need to find some clever ways to reduce your chick pea bill.
"No one needs to worry about there being no hummus on the shelf - we've got plenty" she reassured me.
So, crisis over. Well, actually no crisis ever.