February 28, 2011

Kosher Food Industry Projects Record Sales for Passover 2011; Possible Shortages of Oil and Mayonnaise?

New York…While retailers were showcasing gift baskets for the upcoming Purim holiday (March 20th), they were also busy preparing for Passover (eve of April 18th). Some stores in Brooklyn were already clearing shelves for the Passover items. Industry officials were enthusiastic about the prospects for many of the 400 new items to be displayed this Passover. “The quality and variety of the new products is outstanding this year,” said Harold Weiss, VP of Sales at Kedem. The officials say that the new products for the holiday have helped drive sales in the past few years. Mr. Weiss says that some of the gluten-free items may survive the Passover holiday and become year-round staples. Yakov Yarmove of SuperValu believes the calendar will favor strong sales as Snowbirds tend to return North when Pesach falls out later. Additionally, spring break is over so the consumer’s focus is definitely clearer on Pesach. One concern is that there may be a possible shortage of oil and mayonnaise due to unusually cold temperatures earlier this month that broke pipes in a major manufacturing facility of Passover items. Spot shortages are not new to Passover shoppers who already weathered shortages of Tam Tam crackers, Barton’s chocolates, and margarine in recent years. The number of gluten-free products has more than doubled this year, a good omen for people suffering from celiac diseases and others wishing to restrict their intake of gluten.