NEW YORK — Kosher sales during the recently concluded Chanukah holiday did better than expected, according to distributors and retailers. Yakov Yarmove of Jewel Osco said that sales were better than expected “particularly in stores that promoted the right product mix.” Many of the retailers said that the unusual Chanukah-Thanksgiving combination had a lot to do with the robust Chanukah season, but others said that Chanukah has in recent years become a major selling season for kosher foods. Kosher Today has learned that several secondary markets that did not fare as well on Passover “rebounded nicely,” according to Yarmove and others.
Independents in strong kosher markets also reported stronger than usual sales with 15% growth being common. Bakers reported unprecedented demand for doughnuts with some stores selling doughnuts in the six figures. In some stores, shoppers combined traditional Thanksgiving foods with Chanukah treats like potato latkes (either frozen or mixes). Kosher marketers noted that several stores had traditional Shabbat and holiday items in their Chanukah FSI’s, including Matzoh, Grape Juice and Gefilte fish “when they should have featured apple sauce, potato latkes, doughnuts and deli for the many parties.”