I had to share this story with you, as huge fans of both products, it's great to hear that these two 'essential' purchases in our weekly shop are doing so well across the country.
Halloumi: Britons have become the biggest European consumers of the rubbery, squeaky white cheese outside of Cyprus. Tesco's halloumi sales rose by 35% during 2011 and 2012, while Waitrose reported a 104% increase. "I don't think it was one event that explains halloumi's popularity," says Louis Constantinou, director of the Cypressa food company, founded by his uncles in the 1960s, which now supplies halloumi to supermarkets. "It got exposure by celebrity chefs. It's a versatile product in the sense you can do lots with it – grill it, eat it as it is."
Hummus: Waitrose claims to be the first supermarket to have stocked hummus, around 20 years ago. Now, says Jonathan Moore, the supermarket's executive chef, they have around 19 varieties. "It has become a staple – people are using it on bread instead of butter." One recent survey found 41% of Britons had a pot of hummus in their fridge, and the British taste for the chickpea paste, which originates in the Middle East, is worth around £60m a year.