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Tribe Hummus Offers Lessons in Rebranding

Tribe Hummus Offers Lessons in Rebranding
A pioneer in the hummus industry, Tribe Mediterranean Foods has launched a rebranding campaign to keep their product relevant after 20 years in the business. / Credit: TribeHummus.com

There are very few grocery stores today that don't carry hummus, which has been a sweetheart product of the health food market for years. However, when Tribe Mediterranean Foods was founded in 1993, many Americans weren't familiar with the chickpea-based spread. Tribe was one of the first companies to promote hummus as a healthy food to the mass market, but a 20-year-old marketing strategy just won't cut it with the myriad hummus brands currently available to consumers today. In August, the company launched a rebranding campaign for its hummus to stay relevant in an expanding sea of competition.

The decision to revamp the Tribe Hummus brand grew out of a yearlong market research project to understand what hummus buyers wanted from the industry. Adam Carr, president and CEO of Tribe Mediterranean Foods, noted that while the hummus category has had a compound annual growth rate of 17 percent over the last three years, customers just weren't excited about the products in it.

"Consumers felt the category was boring to shop, and that the hummus shelf could benefit from a little more fun and pizazz," Carr told BusinessNewsDaily. "Tribe has relaunched the brand with bold new packaging, highly innovative flavors and a creative marketing campaign."

[Creative Ways to Market Your Business]


T.H. Chickpea, the Tribe Hummus Mascot in Boston Credit: Tribe Hummus

Tribe's recent rebranding efforts focused on highlighting the "love and fun" that goes into making Tribe Hummus. In addition to listing love as one of the first two ingredients (the other, of course, being chickpeas) on the new hummus packages, the company describes the process that goes into making their product.

"There is a lot of passion and attention put into crafting our hummus, and we wanted to share that story with our customers in a fun way," Carr said. "It really resonates with consumers because they are getting more and more interested in how the food they eat is made."

Carr offered a few rebranding tips for companies that have experienced a heavy surge in competition:

  • Be an innovator. As part of their new campaign, Tribe introduced a series of limited-edition new flavors based on its market research. Innovation is critical, but it must be deeply rooted in consumer insights.
  • Get creative with marketing. Tribe sent its mascot, T.H. Chickpea, around its headquarters hometown of Boston this summer delivering "random acts of love," such as paying parking meters and handing out sweatbands to runners. Unorthodox marketing? Yes. But will consumers remember a person in a life-size chickpea costume feeding their parking meter? Absolutely.
  • Act like a leader. When rebranding, your entire organization should act with the confidence of leader. But don't be arrogant: No competitor is too small to stay off your radar screen.

The key to Tribe's continued success after two decades in business has been a consistent focus on being the best at what it does. Carr encourages all brands, regardless of industry, to take a similar approach to ensure that they stand out from the competition.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.

Nicole Fallon

Nicole received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. Nicole served as the site's managing editor until January 2018, and briefly ran Business.com's copy and production team. Follow her on Twitter.