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Join host Paul Shapiro as he talks with some of the leading start-up entrepreneurs and titans of industry alike using their businesses to help solve the world’s most pressing problems.

May 15, 2023

Did you know about the correlation between declining smoking rates and increasing hummus consumption? It’s true—a decade ago, as American smoking rates were falling, hummus consumption began ascending, leading numerous tobacco growers to convert their fields to chickpea production instead. 

Hummus is also a favorite of those seeking to eat plant-based while still getting a satiating snack or meal. In fact, in the Middle East, the birthplace of hummus, it’s not eaten as a dip like it is here in America, but rather hummus itself is the bulk of the meal, enjoyed literally by the bowlful as I’ve personally witnessed—and enjoyed—while in Israel. 

Some people even think that hummus may be among the key ways to unite the Middle East, where various cultures have been enjoying hummus for thousands of years.

But one place where hummus hasn’t been enjoyed for millenia: North America. But one Israeli company set out to change that, Sabra, which has caused an explosion of interest in hummus since it entered the market, especially since the company sold half of its shares to Pepsi. Since then, Sabra has rapidly accelerated hummus’ popularity here in America. 

Today, Sabra sells hundreds of millions of dollars of tubs of hummus and is by far the largest player in the sector. In this interview, we chat with Sabra CEO Joey Bergstein about all things hummus, including why he thinks hummus is such a force for good in the world—including why chickpeas are the OG of regenerative crops—and how Sabra can do even better. 

Discussed in this episode

More about Joey Bergstein

Joey Bergstein joined Sabra in August 2021 as President and Chief Executive Officer. He and the Sabra team are on a quest to unit and delight the world around planet positive food.

Prior to joining Sabra, Bergstein led Seventh Generation as Chief Executive Officer since 2017 following successive leadership roles since he joined in 2011. Together with his team, he transformed the business through sustainability-driven product innovation, advocacy-led marketing, and deep partnership with retailers. This combination more than tripled revenue during his tenure, all while building a purpose-driven culture and pursuing the company’s quest to transform the world into a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable place for the next seven generations.   

A graduate of University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business, Bergstein began his career at Procter & Gamble where he held marketing leadership roles over ten years across North America and in Europe.  He then took on leadership roles in the beverages industry, serving as VP beverages industry, serving as VP Global Business Development and then VP Marketing at Molson and then as Senior Vice President of Global Rum at Diageo where, Joey led a global team that doubled the rum business to over $1 billion, transforming Captain Morgan into the fastest growing premium spirit brand in the world.  


Joey has been recognized by CERES for his leadership addressing Climate Change receiving the 2020 CERES BICEP CEO Award and by his fellow Ivey Alumni receiving the 2020 Ivey Alumni Achievement Award. 

Joey and his wife, Andrea, founder of, now live in New York City.