April 26, 2010

Keeping Customers Engaged After Passover Challenge for Many Kosher Retailers

New York… While some stores were still restocking their shelves after Passover, SuperValu was already promoting Israeli products in advance of Yom Haatzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, marking the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the Jewish state. Yakov M. Yarmove of SuperValu noted: “In addition to continuing the support of Israeli products, it always helps to have another sales program coming out of Pesach, when traditionally kosher sales slow down.” In a promotion with Osem, SuperValu launched an ad campaign for many of its affiliated stores throughout the country. Other grocers are gearing up for the upcoming holiday of Shavuos (eve of May 18th through the 20th) when in addition to the usual mix of holiday products, dairy items are highlighted. Some retailers say that the post-Passover period is a time for discounting many items and “keeping customers interested,” as one Midwest grocer said.

Passover 2010 will also be remembered for its unprecedented advertising. The number of full page ads in Jewish print media before the holiday was unparalleled. Some called it the “Pomegranate syndrome,” referring to the high-end Flatbush grocer that almost from its inception in August 2008 has been promoting the store through weekly full-page ads. It prompted many other kosher food purveyors and retailers to also go the full page route in the belief that Pomegranate's use of the large ads was a major reason for its success. But as it turned out, even Pomegranate went dark in the two weeks after Passover, although sources say it is expected to resume its advertising this week. One retailer said “I’ll be doing a great deal of advertising for Shavuos,” but then he joked: “My next Jewish holiday after that is barbecue.”