New York…The impressive growth of kosher sales in many markets is offsetting some decline in secondary markets, Menachem Lubinsky, founder and co-producer of Kosherfest said in his 26th annual keynote address on the State of Kosher. Mr. Lubinsky and Michael Sansolo, one of the nation’s leading experts on food retail, were amongst the notable speakers and chefs at this year’s 26th annual Kosherfest which took place November 11-12 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center. Both Lubinsky and Sansolo pointed to the value of kosher certification and the inherent opportunities to educate even more consumers about the quality, scope and creativity of the kosher products. Mr. Lubinsky explained that the natural population growth of people who eat kosher in many markets like New York and New Jersey was fueling continued double digit growth despite flat sales in markets where there has not been a smooth transition to a new generation. “The children of many of those who bought kosher only a decade or two ago have an outdated notion of what kosher is all about and through education and good marketing, many of these younger consumers can become the new age of kosher consumers,” he said.
More than 6000 trade visitors and exhibitors filled the huge hall on the two days of the show. Visitors were greeted with a New Product Showcase that contained some of the 300 new items that were exhibited at the show. On Tuesday morning, just before the formal opening of the show, awards were presented to the winners of the New Product Competition, including this year’s Best in Show product, DeeBee’s Organic TeaPops. Most of the visitors who tasted the tea pops agreed with the judges decision to crown DeeBee’s as the best new product at the show. DeeBee’s was one of 400 booths at the show. There was a great deal of focus on the bellwethers like Kedem, Osem, Agri, Manischewitz, Empire, and others as well as the international exhibitors from Argentina, Canada, Italy, the UK, Australia, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Turkey. Joining Israel and Argentina with a large pavilion this year was Italy.
In a surprise presentation, Kosher Troops, members of the US military who keep kosher and who visited Kosherfest, honored Menachem Lubinsky in a ceremony that took place on Wednesday. The troops presented Mr. Lubinsky with a flag flown on a combat mission over Afghanistan as well as a Certificate of Authentication. The presentation was in recognition of the support that the show has given the troops to enable them to keep kosher while serving in the US military.