Waste not, want not: UK start-up turns leftover food into hummus

By Emma Jane Cash

- Last updated on GMT

The dips come in five flavours, including banana and cocoa; beetroot, horseradish and sage; and carrot, ginger and turmeric. © ChicP
The dips come in five flavours, including banana and cocoa; beetroot, horseradish and sage; and carrot, ginger and turmeric. © ChicP
Food waste-conscious start-up, ChicP, transforms leftover fruit and vegetables into a variety of flavoured hummus, and is crowdfunding to expand into new markets.

The idea was conceived after founder Hannah McCollum grew tired of bland, unhealthy varieties of hummus found in supermarkets.

“I would see the amount of food that was wasted in the food service industry, as well as when cooking in a household. All this really delicious food that doesn’t need

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to go to waste, it can be turned into something else. That combined with the lack of interesting, healthy or sustainable dips or hummus on the market gave me the idea.”​ she said.

By pairing her love of cooking with her detest of wasting food, McCollum created ChicP and its variety of flavoured dips, using “ugly vegetables or vegetables that have been rejected by supermarkets​”.

The dips come in five flavours, including banana and cocoa; beetroot, horseradish and sage; and carrot, ginger and turmeric.

“The flavours I chose were ones that have a guaranteed all year round supply. So big carrots, huge beetroots and herbs, which are often oversized” ​she added. “Supermarkets will reject parsley that has stalks over 10 cm. My parsley is huge.”

All of the dips are low in calories and are made primarily of raw fruit and vegetables. They are also sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan friendly.

McCollum says they can be used as dips, sauces or spreads. A recipe page is included on their website demonstrating the versatility of the product.

Market expansion on the horizon

Currently the dips are only available in UK stores, as well as an online shop, with hopes to expand their current market.

“I’m definitely trying to get more stockists on board all the time and I’d love to franchise in other countries. I know that America has tonnes [...] of surplus vegetables and a few people have expressed interest in the product. It would be much more sustainable to franchise rather than to trade over to the US because of the shelf life of the products.”

ChicP is using UK retailer Tesco's crowdfunding website, Tesco BackIt, in order to expand its business and reach out to more stockists as well as more suppliers. The crowdfunding campaign​ has currently raised £2,525 out of the £5000 with the campaign ending on 16 January.

“I really want to put more money into marketing, PR and also really want extend my shelf life, so there’s a lot of research and development into this new process that will help me extend my shelf life in a natural way. The machines are quite costly to run so that’s where a lot of the money will go” ​she explained.

McCollum also hopes to hire new employees to help her business grow.

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