December 6, 2016

FEATURE: New Era in Kosher Retail Kosher Keeping up With the Trends, Food Experts Say

Secaucus, NJ - The kosher food industry “is either right on or slightly behind” national trends for foods, was the consensus of most of the food experts at the recently concluded Kosherfest. A good example where the kosher food industry is not only in step but galloping forward is gluten-free. The number of items at the kosher food show last November that were gluten-free was significantly higher than a year ago. Hot sauces are now a major trend in the overall food market but only marginally in the kosher food market, albeit steadily making inroads. Many new beverages are replacing soda in the general market and also progressing in the kosher market. While kale did catch on in many segments of the kosher market, it perhaps did not do as well as it and seaweed did in the general market. The upshot of Kosherfest was that while the kosher market was generally marching to the same tune as the general food market when it comes to trends, it was not universal. The kosher food market, for example, is very much focused on producing healthier snacks while at the same time tweaking many existing products, particularly fancier meats. There is still the Shabbat and holiday meals that the average consumer is looking to further enhance. Predictions are that pasta will make a huge comeback in 2017 and that smaller bite-size sizes will continue to expand, two trends that kosher is destined to join.