February 3, 2009

Breaking News: 13% of Americans Buy Kosher Food, Latest Mintel Report Shows

New York…Americans of all backgrounds are buying kosher foods, according to the latest survey of kosher by the Mintel’s research group, a leading researcher of consumer goods. Thirteen percent of respondents in a national survey by Mintel indicated that they purchase kosher food, either for themselves or for someone else in their households. The major reason for purchasing kosher food, the survey shows, is for reasons of food quality (62%) or for general healthfulness (51%). All told, 30% of those who buy kosher food do so for religious purposes; 14% follow kosher rules; 10% follow some other religious rules with eating restrictions similar to kosher; and 6% follow halal religious rules. The survey is the third on kosher foods by Mintel since 2005. The survey revealed that the conventional supermarket or superstore is the primary source for kosher food, and 40% of those who buy kosher food do so at Wal-Mart. More than half (55%) of kosher food buyers wish there were more kosher options in the stores in which they currently shop, suggesting an unmet need among many kosher consumers for a wider variety of available products.

According to researcher Marcia Mogolansky, the top reason for purchasing kosher products is food quality, not religious affiliations. In fact, 62% of respondents to Mintel’s survey who buy kosher products do so for food quality reasons, while 17% say that they buy kosher for food safety reasons. Consumers tend to associate kosher products with above-average quality and safety because of the inspection process to which kosher products are subjected. Under-35's are the most likely to buy kosher food for religious or ethical reasons. This is not surprising, considering the extent to which younger consumers make up the ranks of Orthodox Jews.