March 24, 2014

Kosher Independents Attracting More Secular Jews

BROOKLYN, NY — Iris Kahn, a mother of 4 and grandmother of 3, admits that she is not your typical kosher consumer. She shops in stores like Associated, Shoprite, and even a local bodega and does not always buy products with a kosher symbol that is except for Rosh Hashanah and Passover. Yet, she says that in recent years she has become a “convert” doing most of her shopping at Pomegranate. 

“I grew up in a kosher home in Bensonhurst that was not particularly religious.” But she loves the prepared foods at the kosher store and feels “somewhat more Jewish” shopping in a store that is all kosher. The recent trend towards more large independent kosher supermarkets has, of course, been a boon for the strictly kosher shopper, but there is growing evidence that the stores are attracting more secular Jews that simply enjoy the experience of shopping in a kosher store. “These stores are every bit as upscale as any store I know,” Iris says. That trend has long been in evidence at major supermarkets with kosher sections. One is likely to see them queue up at a kosher deli counter in Aventura, Chicago, Cincinnati, Minneapolis Las Vegas and Los Angeles to name but a few markets with supermarkets with large kosher sections. The shoppers seem to be attracted by the blending of the old and the new. They can still buy the chopped liver, stuffed cabbage and flanken but at the same time seem to be enjoying some of the new upscale prepared foods, dips, and salads.