SUNNY SIDE UP Thriving hummus producer maintains the cutting quality edge with advanced X-Ray product inspection capabilities
Eldad Jungreis, Co-owner
Nurith Jungreis, Co-owner, Sunflower Kitchen
ANDREW JOSEPH, FEATURES EDITOR PHOTOS BY COLE GARSIDE
aking hay while the sun shines is sound, time-tested advice for any small business trying to grow to the proverbial next level. And these are sunny days indeed for the super-friendly folks running the Sunf lower Kitchen plant in east-end Toronto—one of a fastgrowing number of Canadian-based producers of the increasingly popular chickpea-based spread called hummus, a core staple of Middle Eastern diet and cuisine for well over a millennia. Although the tasty, zesty and nutritious spread— made from cooked and mashed chickpeas and f lavored with sesame seed-based tahini paste, sea salt and an assortment of tangy herbs and spices—is a relative newcomer to the mainstream North American packaged food marketplace, it is making up for lost time at a rapid pace these days, as evidenced by an estimated US$300-million market for packaged hummus products in the United States in 2010, fueled by years of breakneck double-digit growth. Such heady growth is certainly well-ref lected in the rising fortunes of the aforementioned Sunf lower Kitchen, which was founded back in 1995 literally in the family kitchen of the Toronto residence shared by Israeli-born company founder Eldad Jungreis and his Mexican-born wife and business partner Nurith. Originally operating as a home-based producer of specialty all-vegetarian soups and ready-to-eat dishes for nearby local health-food stores and niche ethnic food-stores, the company seized its chance at
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Sunflower Kitchen uses an Eagle Products Inspection X-Ray unit provided by integration specialist PLAN AUTOMATION to inspect the metal-lidded soup jars (see inset).
entering the big-league world of food retail about 13 years ago when its products caught the eye of a retailer attending the same food industry show where Nurith was promoting her company’s humble product offerings to a wider potential audience than the existing
CANADIAN PACKAGING • JULY/AUGUST 2013
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