July 7, 2014

Israel’s Demographics Bode Well for the Future of Kosher, a $17 Billion Market

TEL AVIV — Yanky Bichler is the CEO of his own communications and strategic firm, specializing in the charedi market. Charedi is defined as the strictly Orthodox, largely consisting of the yeshiva community and chasidic Jews. Mr. Bichler is part of a growing number of advertising, marketing and public relations firms that specialize in the Charedi market. Many food manufacturers hire these firms to develop special messages to the Charedim, who according to a 2012 study represent nearly 10% of Israel’s near 6 million Jews. In many cases, they market products that have kosher certifications from agencies and rabbis from that community as well as nationally recognized symbols. Another 12% are believed to be the more modern religious Zionists for a combined total of 22% or nearly 1.3 million Jews.

The study showed that the Charedim will reach 1 million by the year 2024, doubling in size every 20 years. They also indicate that while the average Israeli household consists of only 3.1 people, the Charedim average is  6.5, living in 135,000 households. The experts say that the kosher market in Israel today exceeds $17 billion, largely because at least 65% of the population keeps kosher, which is why so many international companies consider going kosher. More than 80% of Israel’s retailers stock only products that have a kosher certification.

American kosher manufacturers have also taken notice of the opportunities in Israel, with imported food gaining traction every year.