March 6, 2018

Most Kosher Products, Including Matzoh, Not Manufactured in Brand Owned Plants

New York - It is not a well-kept secret that most of the kosher brands on supermarket shelves nowadays are not manufactured by those brands. Some industry sources guessed that as much as 70% of all kosher products sold are outsourced in what has become a growing private label business for kosher. Brand representatives can be seen scouring private label trade shows for possible products to put under their label. The most striking example is the manufacture of Matzoh and related products where most of the products are outsourced. Only Streit’s, a century-old family business originally located on the Lower East Side and today manufacturing in New Jersey, is still producing machine-made Matzoh in the US. Even leading brands like Manischewitz outsource the production of Matzoh to Israel in what the company termed a “quest for efficiency”. Occasionally brands that do their own manufacturing outsource some products when they lack the production capacity or when pursuing line extensions. In meats, most of the largest brands do their own processing, albeit that most of the slaughter is not done in their own facility with some notable exceptions. In dairy, only Norman’s has a full scale production facility in Rutherford NJ. Ironically, say kashrus officials, many mainstream brands are manufactured in a kosher certified facility and fail to take advantage of the certification of the plant. Rabbi Moshe Elefant, the COO of the Orthodox Union (OU) said that they “frequently receive inquiries about making a product kosher only to learn that it is already manufactured in a kosher certified plant”.