July 11, 2016

1,000 Booths with Kosher Certification at Fancy Food Show is 10-fold Increase from 2000

New York - The Summer Fancy Food Show held on June 26-28 at the Javits Center in New York featured 2,169 booths and 47,000 visitors, according to the Specialty Foods Association that sponsors the show. Remarkably 1,000 of those booths had some form of kosher certification, a 10-fold increase from 2000. The Orthodox Union (0U) alone had 350 exhibits with its certification, many prominently displaying the purple sign indicating that they were OU certified. Kashrus experts estimated that in 2000, the number of kosher certified booths at the Fancy Food Show was less than 10% of what it is today. For the Star-K, based in Baltimore, the 100 companies with its certification at the show this year compared with only 10 in 2000. The same was true for the Brooklyn-based OK Kosher Certification which had 150 companies as well as other major kashrus agencies such as the Kof-K. Several of the kashrus agencies even had their own booths, answering questions from many exhibitors considering kosher certification and servicing their companies at the show. Several distributors told Kosher Today that while “most do not necessarily focus on the kosher market, they feel that it is not wise in this environment not to have a kosher certification.” They explained that with chains like Whole Foods, Target, Costco, and BJ’s increasingly selling kosher products, it was a “no-brainer” to add the kosher certification. The kashrus agencies agreed, saying that in most cases the addition of the certification required only minor ingredient changes. Most of the exhibitors said that the certification definitely added value to their products. This dramatic increase in kosher certified products, say industry officials, is “across the board” at all food shows nowadays.