December 6, 2016

Australian Companies Jumping On the Kosher Bandwagon to Service Consumers Locally

Melbourne - Air travel to Australia may not have changed much in the past 15 years, but the aisles of the local Australian supermarkets certainly have. In a recent Kosher Today article, it was reported that many Australian food companies are looking for kosher certification as they embark on their journey of exporting products to the US. According to Kosher Australia (which handles nearly 90% of the kashrus in Australia), the local kosher market is growing exponentially as well. “Kosher Australia has grown from 50 companies with approximately 300 products in 2003, to 500 plus companies and over 15,000 certified items this year,” explains Yankel Wajsbort, General Manager at Kosher Australia.” Even our kosher consumer food guide that we produce each year has grown from a small pamphlet to a hefty book.” In 1983 it was 62 pages long with approximately 500 approved (not certified) products. In 2003 the guide consisted of 126 pages with 1200 approved and certified products, and our 2016 guide has 390 pages and 8200 certified products.” The Australian kosher market is worth approximately $400 million AUD per annum, and services approximately 75,000 kosher or preferentially kosher consumers. “There is a substantive kosher presence here. In fact 15 local supermarkets in Melbourne carry kosher private label products. This means that the supermarket itself places a kosher certification symbol next to each product that we approve or certify, throughout the mainstream supermarket and not just the kosher aisle.” That being said many of the companies that initially secure kosher certification for the local Australian market, then look at exporting their products to the US, UK and Europe. Carmans Fine Foods is one such company (carmanskitchen.com.au), the first locally produced kosher snack bar. “They approached us in 2006 with the intention of exporting to the US, but then local demand was so strong that they were unable to produce sufficient quantities for export until 2008; showing the real strength of the Australian kosher market for driving kosher locally.”