November 12, 2018

Kosher Continues Movement Towards Healthier Products

Secaucus NJ…The big news at Kosherfest 2018 is a “movement” towards healthier foods. The kosher community is moving ever so slowly into the space that the rest of America may already be occupying, say industry officials. The decline of a chain like Whole Foods, which was ultimately sold to Amazon, was precisely because the rest of America bought into the concept of eating healthier. That meant consuming products that were more organic and more natural with no MSG or other objectionable ingredients, or simply a “clean label,” as people in the industry refer to it. When you are able to consume healthy products at stores like Kroger’s or Costco, a chain like Whole Foods became less relevant and certainly no longer unique.

Yakov Yarmove of the Albertson’s chain is witnessing this change in kosher first-hand. “People who eat kosher are increasingly demanding healthier products,” he says. “They are looking at the labels and are concerned that whatever they consume should be without the ingredients that are not good for you.” He and others in the kosher food industry agree that the healthier movement is being driven by Millennials, which is quite different from earlier healthy food movements when it was driven by older consumers.

The roll-out of a new generation of healthier kosher products is well underway and the 30-year old Kosherfest is traditionally the showcase of the latest trends in kosher, both year-round and for Pesach. The products that are trending include such items as Veggie Croutons, Organic Chestnuts, and many new vegetable-based drinks that are pure and natural, many of which won awards in the show’s annual New Product Competition. The beverage category continues to undergo dramatic changes as the old carbonated drinks take a backseat to energy drinks and just about any type of treatment of water. One recent exception was the news that Diet drinks were driving sales at Coca Cola, but sugary drinks continue on a steep decline.