May 3, 2018

Forget the Cheesecake, Bring on the Sushi Platter

New York…It was nearly two years ago on June 16th that the New York Times wrote: “Orthodox Jews are eating dragon rolls, rainbow rolls, tsunami rolls and California rolls (using imitation crab) in sushi bars like Sushi Meshuga in Brooklyn or in more eclectic kosher restaurants and supermarkets. Weddings and bar mitzvahs aren't complete without a sushi station…” In the two years since the article ran, say industry sources, the demand for kosher sushi has more than doubled with some guessing that it easily tops $30 million in sales. Hershel, a 20-something Chasidic Jews who “dabbles in finance” has an app on his smartphone where he can get his choice sushi platter delivered almost instantly with Freund’s fleet of blue taxi delivery vehicles. Others use Uber Eats to get their sushi fix, but incredibly, a growing number of supermarkets say they expect soaring sale of Sushi on the upcoming holiday of Shavuos (May 13 -14). “It is definitely the food of choice for the millennials,” says one fish maven. What is most remarkable is that even the most upscale kosher supermarkets consider the sushi bar a significant profit center. Comedian Jackie Mason once joked that sushi was started by “two Jews who wanted to open a restaurant without a kitchen.” Mr. Mason would be shocked at just how fast the category is growing.