Saturday, May 23, 2009


Have you noticed what's happened to your hummus container?

On the left, Tribe of Two Sheiks classic hummus, featuring the 2 camels logo:On the right, Tribe hummus.

Your camels have been replaced by pictures of the delicious ingredients inside. The middle-eastern calligraphy is essentially the same.

You probably didn't think the Tribe was really made in Cairo or Casablanca, but you probably thought New York City or somewhere equally as world-stage. Tribe makes its home in the South Shore environs of Taunton, MA, not far from where the Patriot play. (I gave up remembering what the stadium is called anymore. Canaveral, I think)

So here's how this happened:

The Tribe began manufacturing in 1994 as part of the Rite Foods brand of food...stuffs. The official story about changing the packaging is "Many consumers had trouble identifying the hummus flavor inside the old packaging. We took a significant step to correct that creating illustrations on the labels of the vegetables/herbs in the hummus."

This angle is not mentioned in the official story.

The Osem group is actually part of Nestle, so this is not a takeover story (except maybe how Nestle owns everything).

Meanwhile, chief competitor Sabra pushes its "Go Mediterranean" slogan, though they are also owned by Pepsi-Co. Speaking of owning everything. (Mountain Dew "Voltage"? "Charged with raspberry citrus flavor and ginseng" Stop the madness, Pepsi. And don't make a hummus soda, no matter what the Cel-Ray people tell you.)

For one last "equal time" mention, the Cedar's factory tour. Ward Hill, MA, owned by ... itself, from what I can tell. Community-active and academically-endorsed. I may have just changed my hummus brand.


  1. Don't forget about Joseph's Middle East, a locally owned business in Lawrence.

  2. I'm a Joseph's fan myself. Good stuff!


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