July 27, 2015

Calendar Works in Favor of Stellar High Holy Days Season

New York - The kosher food industry is forecasting a strong High Holy Day season this year, largely due to the calendar. With Rosh Hashanah falling on the eve of September 13th, retailers are expecting a regular back to school season prior to the onset of the High Holy Days. The holidays, which will include Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Totah end on October 6th. Industry officials say that the mid-week holidays also offer ample Shabbat sales opportunities, making for a “very good season.” The calendar always plays a part in just how well the industry does on holidays. An early holiday season, for example, that dovetails on Labor Day often robs retailers of a good back to school season. Three day holidays (a two-day holiday adjacent to a Shabbat) can cut into sales although many say that customers tend to buy more for a three day holiday. The interim days of Sukkot (Chol Hamoed) offers only 2-3 days of travel, also affecting some sales. Although sales in general are second only to Passover, which generally accounts for nearly 40% of annual kosher sales, sales on the High Holy Days have been steadily growing over the past 5 years with an estimated annual growth of 10%-12%.

While not like Passover which in 2015 featured more than 120 hotel programs, there are many more hotel programs this Sukkot than in the past.