What makes chickpeas an industry leader among pulses?

- The neutral taste allows chickpeas to work well with many other flavors.

- Chickpeas taste great with savory types of flavors, whether it’s a simple sea salt or whether it’s a more complex one like barbecued flavor.

- Likewise, chickpeas pair well with sweet flavors such as honey.

- The popularity of hummus gives chickpeas another advantage.

A lot of the brands in the hummus, plant-based meat and snacks category really focus on not only growing their sales but really educating consumers and people with different food preferences on the benefits of chickpeas for them.

Boston-based Biena Snacks experimented with lentils, beans and other pulses and legumes before deciding on chickpeas for the company’s Roasted Chickpea Snacks and Chickpea Puffs.

New York-based Banza features chickpea products in pasta, macaroni and cheese, and rice alternatives.

Antithesis Foods based in Ithaca, NY offers “Grabanzos”, which are chocolate-covered chickpeas.

Innovo Pro, a developer of plant-based protein ingredients and based in Tel Aviv, Israel, developed a proprietary extraction process to concentrate protein from the chickpea.

Chocolate is the flavor of choice for AVK Company which is one of the leaders of the national confectionery market in Ukraine. Even this company started producing meat from vegetable raw materials. AVK’s "Dreameat” is the first vegetable meat on the market without methylcellulose (without paper). One serving contains 21 grams of protein.

Impossible Foods - one of the market leaders have a deadly serious mission to eradicate the meat and fish industries by 2035. In their place, the company’s scientists and food technicians will create plant-based substitutes for every animal product used today in every region of the world. The company proved its intentions and reduced the prices by 30% in 2020, making its plant-based meat comparable to the cost of conventional meat.

Whole Foods Market testified to chickpeas’ potential by listing them in its top 10 anticipated food trends for 2021, mentioning that they are appearing in products like chickpea tofu, chickpea flour and chickpea cereal.

The fact that speaks about the rising popularity of chickpeas is that the number of US product launches with chickpeas as an ingredient jumped by 74% in 2019 when compared to 2018, according to the Mintel Global New Product Database. The number of US product launches, however, fell by 22% in 2020 when compared to the same time in 2019. Whereas the number of US product launches with peas as an ingredient in 2020 fell by 17%. It happened because food and beverage companies in 2020 have cut back on innovation.

Nonetheless, chickpeas’ combination of taste and nutrition could make them the star of more new product launches in 2021 as the future of meat is shifting to plant-based products.

Let’s shift together.