August 4, 2014

Kosher Companies Step Up Healthier Food Options

NEW YORK — Nary a week passes without some new healthy kosher product being introduced on supermarket shelves. Major purveyors like Gefen, Goldbaum’s, Lieber’s and Manischewitz continue to roll out the healthier options, including gluten-free and products that claim no artificial flavors or coloring. 

Last week, Norman’s rolled out a line of Cholov Yisrael non-fat Yogurt under the name Taste that claims it is without artificial colors or flavors. It was also the first Cholov Yisroel company to roll out a line of Greek Yogurt products including 100-Calorie Lite. An early look at some of the exhibitors at the upcoming Kosherfest in November also includes many new healthy kosher food products, including many new snack items.

Kosher appears to be in-step or perhaps even slightly ahead of mainstream. A new Gallup poll shows more Americans are trying to maintain a healthier diet. Nearly two in three American consumers (63 %) currently avoid drinking soda, compared with only 41% in 2002. Almost half of respondents said they try to include organic food in their diets, while more than 90% try to include fruits and vegetables. While consumers are increasingly working to add the good stuff, they're also trying to cut back on the bad. Some 52% of Americans avoid sugar and fat; in 2002, only 43 percent of consumers said they avoided sugar. 

Chicken and other poultry is still the most included protein in American diets. All of these trends, say kosher food officials, are very much the trend in the kosher market as well. Kehe Foods, a major distributor of kosher recently acquired Nature Best, a California-based distributor of health and natural food products.