Monsey – The number of food items that are certified kosher for Passover has reached 52,000, according to kosher food sources. The sheer number of products available for the holiday has prompted the Evergreen kosher supermarket here to erect a 9,000 square ft. tent in their parking lot to accommodate the unprecedented selection. A canopy passageway to the store allows shoppers to fill their carts with the Passover items in the tent and then add the refrigerated and frozen goods before checking out. Evergreen has a similar setup in their new Lakewood store, albeit with a 6,000 square ft. tent. According to the sources, the number of kosher for Passover items in 2011 was at 23,000, nearly half of what it is today. These numbers are very much in sync with figures released by Rabbi Moshe Elefant, the CEO of the Orthodox Union’s kashrus division. In 2011, the OU certified 17,134 items; this year 32,077 which is double that number. Other certifications like the OK, cRc, Kof-K, and Star-K also saw the number of certified items soar.
Yakov Yarmove, the Ethnic Marketing and Specialty Foods at Albertsons Companies, said that sales were strong at many of the Albertson’s affiliated stores around the country. He said that there was “good support for some of the new items from Manischewitz and Kayco/Kedem.” He added that “Lieber’s seemed to make a strong foray into the supermarket chains this year, as did Paskesz.” Mr. Yarmove noted that many customers waited to shop this year because of the way spring break fell out in relation to the earlier Pesach.
Last Sunday, Yarmove’s Highland Park Jewel-Osco hosted its annual Taste of Passover event. Many of the major brands had booths at the event. Customers loved the photo booth by Manischewitz, face painting and balloon animals for the kids, the model matza bakery by Chabad and the local klezmer band.