Gentiles Go Kosher

Nov 04, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Sales of kosher foods are hot and non-Jewish consumers are the ones driving much of the increase.

A report on the CBS MarketWatch Web site says dollar sales of kosher foods are growing at a 15 percent annual rate, with total sales now moving beyond the $7.5 billion mark.

Bruce Mills, vice president of operations and marketing for My Grandma’s of New England, a manufacturer of baked goods, said, “It’s been our experience that people associate
the word kosher with quality and purity so it helps us sell our product even to the nonkosher, non-Jewish community.” Mr. Mills added that 95 percent of My Grandma’s customers
were not either kosher or Jewish.

Vegetarians and those who suffer from lactose intolerance are also attracted to kosher products with the “pareve” designation certifying the product contains no meat or dairy

Andrew Kramer. director of ethnic marketing and specialty foods, Albertsons said, “Our kosher food sections are definitely changing — major changes. We’re taking the old matzah
ball, gefilte fish, borscht section and really integrating a lot more upscale gourmet products that just happen to be kosher and that’s really responding to our customers. Our
customers are looking for how can they incorporate kosher products into an everyday lifestyle and frankly most people who are eating kosher don’t want to eat those types of items
on a regular basis so we’re getting gourmet soups and marinades and candies and snacks and things like that”.

Moderator’s Comment: Based on its growth outside the Jewish community, do kosher food sections make sense in stores that serve non-Jewish communities?
How will stores with the existing kosher foods section deal with their placement and merchandising as more mainstream manufacturers have products certified as kosher and pareve?

Anderson – Moderator

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