Cedar’s pumpkin spice hommus? Have they no honor?

But what is making me angrier is TRIBE’s current campaign to gain market share against Sabra.

According to IRI, sales in the hummus category of refrigerated flavored spreads is up 21% this year. The category generates over $600 million in retail sales. The Sabra brand (co-owned by the Israel-based Straus Group, and by PepsiCo in Purchase, NY) controls 63% of the market. Tribe is number 2, but with just 7% share of the market. Tribe Mediterranean Foods Inc. is based in Taunton Massachusetts, but is owned by Israel-based Osem/Nestle.

I keep seeing their ads on NYC subways and they don’t appear to be helping the brand.

tribehummuscaviarIn one print ad, Tribe is called “The Caviar of Hummus.”

To me, caviar is gross and salty. It is also non-vegetarian. The refrigerated spread consumer is probably not attracted to comparisons to caviar. By associating TRIBE hummus with caviar, I get a negative reaction. It is also a false idea that Tribe is using the most premium ingredients for its packaged products. To me, this ad is a #FAIL.

The tagline is “You’re either a Member or You’re Not.”

I get that it reinforces the idea of “TRIBE” in a marketspace where many consumers are not aware of the brand’s name that they are purchasing. But the tagline creates more animosity than exclusivity. There are better ways that the agency could have created the idea of “TRIBE” than through exclusion.

tribesharesalsaIn another print ad, TRIBE says that if you want to share, buy salsa. Is this the idea the company seeks to present? That the product is to be selfishly hoarded? Must there be some sort of unilateral or negotiated withdrawal from one’s hummus container? aAnother #FAIL in my opinion. Worse yet is the ad copy that talks about not “settling.” Is this a reference to Israeli settling or perceived intransigence? Dudes, I just want hummus, not a political debate. #FAIL

tribeofficefridgetribebeforeguestsEach one of these ads are too snarky for a refrigerated product. They expect your hummus to be stolen by colleagues? I get a sense of selfishness at a time when the consumer zeitgeist is for things to be shared. Their brand personality and voice are not giving me a warm and cozy flavored spread feeling. You can’t say you are the exclusive CAVIAR and then promote a snarky opposite voice.

Of course, I wish Tribe and Osem well. The ads are from the DeVito/Verdi agency in NYC, and Brandeis alum, Ellis Verdi, is the agency president. They did famous snarky ads for Daffy’s (if you pay a lot for clothes, you need a straitjacket); New York Magazine (“Possibly the only good thing in New York Rudy hasn’t taken credit for”) and Time Out Magazine (“Our magazine is a lot like the average New Yorker, I’ll tell you where you can go and what you can do with yourself.”)… Snark might work for a taxi cab or automotive brand, but their ads for TRIBE just aren’t doing it for me or convincing me to switch from Sabra or a store brand.

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