August 21, 2017

Kosher Companies Scramble for Manufacturers after Manischewitz Closures

Newark, NJ - It was perhaps one of the best kept secrets in the kosher food industry. The Manischewitz Co. was producing products from a significant number of competing brands, ranging from Matzoh to Tam Tam crackers. In fact, said one kosher company that produced an extensive line of items at Manischewitz, “the consumer would be shocked at the degree of cooperation between kosher companies, including Manischewitz.” This is all set to change on September 14th with the closure of the Manischewiz plant sending kosher manufacturers scrambling for alternatives. Industry sources say that while it is assumed that Manischewitz will produce its Matzoh in Israel, they are still searching for alternatives for their extensive line of products. Despite the large number of kosher private label products manufactured at Manischewitz, it was far from satisfying the capacity of the plant, say industry sources. The kosher company that spoke to Kosher Today was also concerned that whoever produces their products going forward should have the same quality as Manischewitz, which he noted was “superb.” Other kosher companies reached by Kosher Today seemed to be matter-of-fact in that many kosher companies that produce kosher also produced for their competitors. One said: “It may be surprising to a kosher customer that two competing brands taste alike, but that is because they are produced at the same plant.”

The Manischewitz closure has sent many companies scurrying for suppliers. One said that he recently called more than a dozen kosher certified plants “but not everyone wants to produce private label.” While Israel remains an option for some, the Israelis don’t always match the quality.” Ever taste the difference of jarred gefilte fish?” asked one kosher broker. He is heading to the Private Label Show in Chicago in the fall to locate some potential manufacturers. “This is a new challenge for us,” he notes,” but we will hopefully find solutions.”