Press release A first: hummus and falafel with Belgian chickpeas for sale in at the Delhaize


Hummus and falafel made from Belgian-grown chickpeas: as of today, for the first time all Belgian and available at Delhaize. The products were realized through KIKET, a project of Artevelde University College in cooperation with Delhaize, ILVO, Inagro, Rikolto, three farmers, Greenyard, Abinda and Deldiche. This new initiative is also part of the Flemish government's Green Deal project.

Starting today, customers can buy products made from Belgian chickpeas - a product that until now has only been produced in Mediterranean areas - in stores for the very first time. It concerns two limited edition products that can be found on the shelves of Delhaize: hummus and bio-falafel. Both are made from chickpeas grown in Belgium and are available in limited quantities: 2,000 jars of hummus and 3,000 trays of falafel. Ine Tassignon, Delhaize spokesperson: "Delhaize is proud to support this initiative, which is 100% in line with our sustainability values. You can buy the falafel in all Delhaize stores, the hummus in Delhaize stores of Molière, Heverlee and Watersport Gent."

"The production, processing and cultivation of Belgian chickpeas has been extensively tested over the past 12 months through field trials and taste tests. A next step in the project is to test the products with consumers," said Frank Geers, researcher at Arteveldehogeschool. The chickpeas were harvested at Thomas Truyen and Felix de Bousies, partners in the KIKET project. Processing into hummus and falafel was done by Greenyard, Deldiche and Abinda.

An initiative of the KIKET project

KIKET stands for "unleashing local cultivation of chickpeas" and is a project funded by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. This two-year project, launched in April 2022, fits within the research program "Ecological and Sustainable Transition. This project focuses on chain-wide cooperation (from farmer to retailer) and builds with a diverse partnership to grow, process and commercialize local chickpeas.

Delhaize also focused on expanding its plant-based assortment in recent years and wants to double its assortment by 2025. Delhaize values local products and the promotion of Belgian producers.

"'Better food is at the heart of better living' is a core value of Delhaize. That is why the chain joined the Green Deal "Protein Shift on Our Plate," a project of the Flemish government to ensure that consumers get 60% of their protein from plant-based products by 2023. With an already significant plant-based assortment, Delhaize is once again encouraging its customers to choose plant-based and local alternatives," says Tassignon.

"Together with the KIKET partners, we are studying how to further optimize the local chickpea chain. We want to determine the ideal scale and application options to make the production and processing of locally grown chickpeas economically feasible. Chickpeas are originally Mediterranean legumes, but by focusing on growing them locally, we avoid many food miles. Compared to animal food, we also reduce fertilizer and water use. So we are investigating how to optimize chickpea cultivation in Flanders, the willingness of the chain to switch to local chickpeas and we look at how this can be done in a profitable way for each link in the chain. " said Elena Lievens, KIKET project coordinator.

Collaboration with various partners

The products are the result of a successful collaboration between a number of determined partners:
• 3 knowledge centers: Arteveldehogeschool, ILVO, Inagro
• 3 chickpea farmers: Peas&Beans, PHAE, Ekoto
• 3 producers: Abinda, Greenyard, Deldiche
• 1 retailer: Delhaize
• 1 non-profit: Rikolto

More info or an interview?

Elena Lievens – Project coordinator of KIKET
+32 479 72 49 75

Frank Geers – Researcher in the KIKET project
+32 497 52 35 28

Ine Tassignon – Spokesperson from Delhaize
+32 496 85 65 45

chickpeas after harvest Mixed crop of chickpea and grain Chickpea sprout in the greenhouse Potted chickpea plant


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