November 22, 2010

Educators of Product Uses Dramatically Increase Sales, Study Shows

Secaucus, NJ…Kosher food marketers that put in the effort to educate customers how to use their products fare considerably better than those who do not, a Kosher Today study found. Suzie Fishbein, the award-winning author of a series of kosher cookbooks helped Chez Eider of Kolatin educate trade buyers at Kosherfest on how to use the fish-based gelatin. Ms. Fishbein said that she is convinced that such education would help sell many more kosher food products. Gitel Liebler of Quality Foods, a Brooklyn based distributor, stocks ingredients that are included in books like Fishbein’s Kosher by Design and also believes that “dumping products on shelves” is no longer a good strategy. Many of the kosher food sources interviewed for this article were convinced that one of the reasons so many new kosher food products fail is because they simply “do not take the time to invest in consumer education.” A prominent chef said that he finds that certain products will not succeed unless there is “some kind of education.” He mentioned sauces as one of those items, adding: “Sauce in a bottle doesn’t look like much until it becomes part of a recipe.” Many Israeli supermarkets invest far more than their American counterparts in educating consumers. An important feature in most Israeli supermarkets is tastings and demos throughout the store, which are used a lot less frequently by US kosher grocers.

The education of kosher cooks is what is said to behind Kosher Inspired, a new magazine launched by Mishpacha, a popular weekly magazine. Competitors like Binah also devote considerable space to recipes, further stimulating demand for kosher ingredients. Kashrus Magazine, a kosher periodical that highlights kosher alerts and features an annual survey of kosher certifications has added New York Kosher News. Both Kosher Inspired and Kosher News were introduced at Kosherfest. The new publications are in addition to many on-line sources.