May 23, 2016

Kosher Food Industry No Longer Measured by Retail Sales Alone

New York… The tendency to judge the strength of the kosher market by measuring retail sales is, according to experts, no longer valid. The industry has become so multidimensional that it takes a lot more than Nielsen data to evaluate the strength of kosher in the US. Just ask Elan Kornblum of the Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine ( who has been plotting the growth of kosher restaurants in the US and has also added thousands of foodies to his social media platforms. He notes that the restaurants are a reflection of a new upscale lifestyle that today includes a half dozen kosher sports bars in such locations as Long Branch NJ, Teaneck NJ, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Cedarhurst and Suffern. Sandy a 46-year old father of 5 now routinely travels to Israel for Succoth, Miami during mid-winter vacation, Arizona for Passover, and a New Jersey resort for Shavuot. He also has a summer home in the Catskills. This new standard, say kosher food officials, has given rise to a new generation of affluent young Orthodox Jews who have significantly upgraded their kosher lifestyle. It has contributed to the growing number of Passover programs throughout the world and soaring sales in all categories of foodservice including schools, universities, stadiums, and airports.

Where once foodservice was estimated to be no more than 25% of kosher food sales, it is now believed to be approaching 35% - 40%. Any evaluation of the kosher food market must also include the astronomical growth of kosher wines. The combined effect of a rapidly growing retail market and the horizontal growth of kosher in so many categories makes kosher one of the fastest growing segments in food in general. It certainly can no longer be measured by how much is sold on grocery shelves.