Cost-conscious consumers are turning to chickpeas to keep the weekly shopping bill down. Sales of the fibre-rich pulse are soaring as the cost-of-living crisis sparks a craze for cheap but nutritious food. A staple across the world, chickpeas are quick to prepare with a third of a regular tin counting as part of one’s five-a-day.
They can be used to make hummus, veggie burgers as well as bulk out meals by adding them to soups, stews, curries and wraps.
And savvy shoppers have been turning to the low-cost legume as weekly budgets are squeezed, one supermarket giant has revealed.
Tesco saw demand for tinned chickpeas rise by 15 percent last year as people seek an affordable meat alternative.
As budgets come under increasing pressure, the retailer’s research shows shoppers are stocking up on bread, eggs, pasta, rice and baked beans.
According to a OnePoll study for Tesco, 43 percent are planning to spend less on food this year.
One in six said they bought more tinned items in a bid to cut costs.
And with meat taking up a big share of the budget, people are seeking cheap plant-based alternatives.
Cooked chickpeas are a source of Vitamin B6 and folate which contribute to normal red blood cell formation, reduce tiredness and are important for the immune system.
They are packed with phosphorus, manganese and selenium – which support the body’s metabolism, and help maintain bones and teeth.
Oonagh Turnbull, Tesco’s head of health campaigns, said: “Hummus has long been a snack-time favourite and recently falafel has become super trendy so it’s almost natural for people to have gone back to the source pulse, chickpeas.
“They’re also ticking a lot of boxes for shoppers because not only are they versatile and affordable, they are also really good for you.
“Chickpeas are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. They are also really high in protein and make an excellent ingredient.”
Tesco has partnered with conservation charity WWF-UK to halve the environmental impact of the shopping basket.
Jo Trewern, its head of consumption said: “Growing chickpeas and other legumes restores vital nutrients to the soil and is far less carbon intensive than rearing livestock.”