January 5, 2023

2022 – Kosher Year in Review

Inflation Leads to 20% Increase in Kosher Prices; Overcoming Supply Chain Issues; Continued Impact of Covid

New York…It was a year of unprecedented inflation for kosher consumers. Prices on average are believed to have increased by at least 20% with some items like eggs, poultry, salmon and even some pastries rising to as much as 40% higher than in 2021. Problems with supply chain issues were alleviated somewhat resulting in less shortages of essential goods. The return of COVID in many areas caused some temporary shutdowns and some delays in deliveries but overall, the harsh consequences of COVID seemed to have abated. Many retailers said their sales were up by 10% - 15% since the onset of Covid.

Shortage of Mashgichim, Kosher Restaurant Scandal; Ukrainian Jewish Refugees Top Other Stories of 2022

Some of the other big kosher stories of 2022 include the following:

  • Kosher food produced in Israel continues to grow, estimated at nearly $300 million. Israeli wines are increasingly popular with US consumers as sales reached $38 million.
  • Kashrus agencies were forced to deal with an acute shortage of qualified mashgichim.
  • Several kosher eateries were destroyed by fire in the Catskills town of South Fallsburg.
  • The Romanian government adopted a law recently that recognizes and gives specific protection to shechita, or kosher ritual slaughter of animals, bucking a trend in the European Union to ban shechita
  • Kosher purveyors introduced over 300 new products with many winning awards at Kosherfest 2022.
  • Kosherfest 2022 saw the return of many exhibitors in the post-Covid era with many quality buyers also returning after a 2-year hiatus.
  • Passover 2022 saw record sales with some retailers reporting 22% increase in sales.
  • More kosher independent supermarkets are opening as the network continues to grow.
  • Big supermarket chains, many newly merged, invest in kosher
  • A major kashrus scandal was uncovered at a “kosher” restaurant in Manalapan, New Jersey with kashrus officials tightening standards in kosher certified restaurants.
  • Kerestir, Hungary Guesthouse kosher food hub for Ukrainian Jewish refugees
  • Kosher travel explodes with Dubai becoming a major destination; resorts in the Bahamas in major upgrades to kosher travelers.
  • Kosher consumers scrambled to find kosher baby formula.