July 25, 2011

After Gas Stations and Convenience Stores, Are Food Trucks and Farmers Markets the Next Stops for Kosher?

New York…Kosher purveyors and distributors continue to expand their routes with new stops at gas station marts and small convenience stores like 711’s. In several key kosher markets, there are stirrings in at least two other segments, food trucks and farmers markets. The kosher food trucks have shown up in Los Angeles, Baltimore and Washington DC in addition to New York City. A new study by Technomic reveals good news for mobile food vehicles, as 91 percent of consumers polled who are familiar with food trucks say they view the trend as having staying power and not a passing fad. Only 7 percent of consumers who use mobile food vehicles (MFV) say they expect their frequency of visits to food trucks to decrease over the next year. Outdoor farmers markets may also be a new source of revenues for kosher foods. In addition to offering fresh fruits and produce, the farmers markets are selling many natural and organic jams, sauces, spices, and herbs. If Bob Lewis of the New York State Department of Agriculture has its way, Upstate New York honey growers with kosher certification might soon be able to showcase their wares downstate, perhaps in conjunction with the State’s lucrative apple industry, in time for Rosh Hashanah. Mr. Lewis is seeking to expand the number of farmers markets in New York City. Farmers markets have become increasingly popular all across the nation. Many of the markets also offer homemade bread, organic cheese, drinkable yogurt, dipping oils and marinades and wines. As kosher continues to expand, there is no telling where it will show up next.