New York – Wednesday is an important day of the week in the kosher market in that it not only ushers in the three day shopping period for the upcoming Shabbat, but it is also the day when the growing cadre of Jewish publications are displayed in kosher grocery stores and newsstands. The experts say that media for kosher foods includes the weekly national newspapers (i.e. Hamodia, Yated Ne’eman and Jewish Press), national magazines (i.e. Binah, Mishpacha and Ami), and free local publications (i.e. Five Town Jewish Times and the Flatbush Jewish Journal). Other smaller publications are also in the mix but clearly the bulk of kosher advertising is in the three categories. Also part of the media pool these days are several major on-line sites like Yeshiva World, Vos Iz Neias, and Matzav.
The question as to whether full-page ads in these publications actually drive sales is the subject of heated debate amongst the experts. Consumers say that they notice the ads while skimming through the papers usually over Shabbos. The attractive full pages by manufacturers, distributors and retailers are noticed and thus to a certain extent there is quite a bit of branding. What was hard to quantify was the exact percentage of growth attributed to the ads, although at least one manufacturer guessed that the ads were worth “a few percentage points.” But several advertisers told Kosher Today that the ads “have become so dominant that one cannot stay out of the publications.” As much as these ads may be driving sales, they are certainly keeping the publications afloat. While no one could quantify the sales due to the advertising, retailers who advertise weekly specials say that the ads account for at least 15% of their business, which they call “significant.”