BROOKLYN, NY — Forget Ben & Jerry’s, Baskin Robbins, and Hagen Dasz. Open any Jewish publication and the names are Klein’s, Mehadrin and J & J. The battle for the Cholov Yisrael ice cream market appears to have heated up as one source told Kosher Today that it is a $50 million market, a far cry from its modest sales just a decade or two ago. In fact, the ice cream is no longer marketed on kashrus alone, with the emphasis being on cholov Yisrael.
In a broad-based advertising campaign, Klein’s has been using John LeSauvage, an ice cream expert to tout its quality message. Mehadrin & J&J’s have used children, their primary market, to drive home their quality message. Klein’s ice cream, which at first was sold only in kosher specialty stores, is sold in supermarkets, convenience stores and even gas stations.
Sources told Kosher Today that the cholov Yisrael ice cream companies are selling to a far broader audience than just people who eat cholov Yisrael. The reason: the significant improvement in quality, in most cases on-par with other non-cholov Yisrael ice cream. To make their case, the ice cream companies have taken out full-page ads in Orthodox Jewish publications.