US Halal specialist American Halal has launched a new chickpea snacks line under its Saffron Road brand that it says holds appeal to the ‘natural foods’ consumer as well as Muslims.
The chickpea snack line is shelf stable, organic, halal certified and gluten-free with a range of ‘world cuisine’ flavours including falafel, chipotle, Bombay spice and wasabi. It will be launched in August across US Whole Foods Market stores.
Jack Acree, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Saffron Road Foods, said that the growth of the houmous category has been extremely significant “yet no-one seems to be doing much else with chickpeas.”
There is a gap on the market for chickpea-based snack foods, Acree told BakeryandSnacks.com.
We have been working on this snack line since the beginning of the year in response to fulfilling this market opportunity, he added.
The bean is extremely nutritious with high levels of protein and fibre, he said, which holds appeal to the health conscious consumer.
“At Whole Foods Market, our number one consumer is the natural foods consumer,” he detailed.
The chickpea snack line lends itself to many different retail opportunities, he added, so we will be targeting Muslim consumers too.
According to the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA) halal consumers in the US spend US$20bn on food each year and it remains a largely untapped market.
“We were hoping to get the chickpea snack line out for Ramadan but the organic certification tool a little longer than expected,” he said.
The chickpeas are domestically grown in the US, he said, and the use of organic chickpeas is what resonates with the natural food consumer.
Saffron Roads is investing in growth and will target both Muslim and health-conscious consumers to drive this. The brand pulled in over US$4m in 2011 and has targets to hit US$50m in sales within five years.