Every ethnic product in America goes through a continuum,” explains Howard Eirinberg, president of Kronos Foods Inc., Glendale Heights, Ill. The first step in this journey for many ethnic and international products is as a specialty stock-keeping unit (SKU) that appeals only to specific groups. As it gains popularity among specialty food shoppers, online communities and eventually “foodies,” the product can grow into a brand that appeals to a broad audience.
“Hummus is a great example of that,” Eirinberg continues. “Eight years ago, most Americans didn’t know what hummus was. Today, it has made its way to the masses as a delicious dip and spread. [Annual] retail sales are more than $450 million.”