Taking the Plunge: Dips Are Better-for-You Too

As consumers dip their toes into the wellness pool, their snacks are doing the same thing, with tasty results. Taking better-for-you baked chips and zesting them with different dressings has helped propel sales of dips in the supermarket channel. Research firm Euromonitor International projects that sales of dips will increase by nearly $150 million over the next four years. Helping fuel the category

As consumers dip their toes into the wellness pool, their snacks are doing the same thing, with tasty results.

Taking better-for-you baked chips and zesting them with different dressings has helped propel sales of dips in the supermarket channel. Research firm Euromonitor International projects that sales of dips will increase by nearly $150 million over the next four years.

Helping fuel the category are healthful formulations with an ethnic twist, such as Tostitos Reduced Fat Zesty Cheese Dip. Manufacturers are also rolling out gluten-free and certified organic dips.

Scooping out the biggest piece of the market lately has been hummus. A mere $5 million business 10 years ago, it's exploded into a $180 million category, with more than 80 companies vying for sales. Essentially made of mashed chickpeas and oil, hummus is a naturally low-fat, low-calorie food that's also high in protein.

Taste and packaging innovations are increasingly pitting hummus against time-honored salsas, quesos and bean dips. Tribe, a leading hummus manufacturer, now has 2-ounce packs of hummus to cater to on-the-go consumers, as well as party trays and multipacks.

The big players in the industry have certainly taken note. Last month, PepsiCo closed a deal with leading hummus brand Sabra for a 50% stake in the company.