January 19, 2009

Kashrus Organizations in New Focus on Kosher and Organic Certifications

Baltimore…The combination of a kosher symbol with organic certification can dramatically boost sales of such products, studies show. The major impact on sales of these dual certified products is reflected in Mintel International’s 2008 research data which shows that both kosher and organic were amongst the top ten claims on new food products. Kashrus agencies are paying increased attention to this trend. The Star-K kosher certification agency recently announced a new joint kosher and organic auditing program with Quality Assurance International (QAI). QAI is the organic industry leader in certification services with operations in the U.S., Canada, Japan and the European Union. In fact, a number of Star-K inspectors are now trained organic processing inspectors, allowing both the kosher and organic audits to be completed in one visit.

The Orthodox Union (OU), also supervises many organic products but doesn’t have a certification that attests to a product’s organic nature. Instead it often joins with the Organic National and International Certification (ONNIC), and both certifications appear on the products’ packaging. Both the OU and the Star-K had booths at the winter Fancy Food Show that took place in San Francisco this week. A significant number of products at the show had both kosher and organic certifications. The success of products that are both kosher and organic certified has not been lost on many supermarkets throughout the country as many have positioned their kosher aisles near organic aisles. The result is that many customers are shopping both aisles, the supermarkets say.