January 22, 2013

Kosher is Either Kosher, Ethnic or International in Some Stores

MIAMI BEACH — A magnificent new Publix supermarket in the heart of Miami Beach is cause for celebration for the many kosher consumers who live in the area as well as snowbirds who are jammed into condominiums and hotels for the annual pilgrimage at this time of the year. The two-level store with its huge parking lot has a broad array of kosher products in almost every section of the store. The new store on Collins Avenue and 67th Street replaced a popular older store, but has added many more kosher products. 

For the first time, an aisle sign actually indicates the existence of the “kosher” section rather than the “ethnic foods” in the previous store, but kosher frozen is under the banner of international and items like kosher cheese, deli and poultry are in unmarked areas. One kosher shopper looking for challah said that it took her “almost 20 minutes to locate the challah.” Many other stores in various parts of the country still include their kosher section, sometimes as long as 15 feet under an “ethnic” banner and often next to Asian foods. 

Most kosher distributors say that stores that don’t clearly designate their kosher fare with good signage generally lose out on sales. With only one major kosher independent store in the area, the Collins Avenue Publix could certainly win over many kosher consumers if only there was a greater focus on kosher even as the store continues to expand its selection of kosher foods.