April 7, 2014

$85 Million Matzoh Market in New Shift to Domestic and Hand Made; Israeli Matzoh Sales Decline

NEW YORK — Israel’s export of Matzoh to the US is said to have declined by 11% after steady gains in the past five years which gave the Israelis a near 40% market share. At the same time, sales of hand-made Shmura Matzoh are said to have soared by nearly 15%. In interviews with kosher food sources, the shift away from the Israeli matzohs seems to be explained by several new developments in the market place. 

The price discrepancy between domestic manufacturers and the Israelis seems to have shrunk. Previously the Israeli matzohs were as much as 30% cheaper. Last year’s flat Passover sales due to the March date for the holiday has prompted some to cut back on orders this year despite early evidence that sales this year are more robust than last year. 

An unexpected surge in sales of the hand-made shmura matzoh has also had its impact on the machine made Matzoh. While the pricey shmurah matzoh was in years past exclusively bought by more religious Jews, the round slightly burnt hand made matzoh is being purchased by more modern Orthodox and even secular Jews. The hand-made variety is now sold in stores like Costco for as little as $13.99. It is not clear which brands of Israeli matzoh actually suffered from the shifting trend. A spokesman for the Kedem group that imports the Yehuda brand said that its sales have actually increased. Yehuda has brought much innovation to the market, especially with its gluten-free matzoh.

While Shmura matzoh was believed to be at about 20% of national matzoh sales, there are indications that it may be inching towards 30% market share. In domestic sales, Manischewitz remains the leading seller with Streit’s a strong second.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia/Kosherstock.