September 2, 2014

British Supermarkets Turn the Other Cheek and then Turn Around

LONDON — Sainsbury’s and Tesco had long actively courted the kosher market, until the Israel-Gaza conflict spilled over onto its shelves. Industry sources told Kosher Today that Sainsbury’s has vowed to never again remove kosher products from its shelves, as it did recently due to pressure from radical Arabs. With 1200 stores, Sainsbury’s has kosher products in a number of its stores. “This will not happen again,” corporate affairs director Trevor Datsun said. “Managers will be told not to move kosher food because of some perceived threat. It should not have happened and, explicitly, it cannot happen again.”

The supermarket chain, which has 1,200 stores, had earlier apologized after kosher items were removed from a fridge display in Holborn as a precaution against possible attack. Ironically, sources pointed out, many Muslims had bought the kosher products. A major disturbance by an anti-Israel gang at a Tesco store in Birmingham, led to one man being arrested. A group shouting and brandishing Palestinian flags entered the store and attacked products threatening staff and customers before clashing with police. Tesco had steadily increased its kosher offering and even visits Kosherfest.