SECAUCUS, NJ —Thousands of exhibitors and visitors are preparing to participate in the 24th annual edition of Kosherfest at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, which opens tomorrow (November 13th) for two days. The show comes just a little more than two weeks after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the region, significantly affecting all segments of the kosher food industry. Thankfully, the Convention Center itself and surrounding hotels did not sustain any damage and the transportation system is virtually back to normal assuring participants of easy access to the convention center.
Kosherfest takes place at a time of continued growth for kosher foods which in 2012 again saw a 10%-12% increase in sales, with some communities in New York and New Jersey exceeding 15%. Many grocers continued to expand their kosher sections. They included chains like Publix and Winn-Dixie in Florida, specialty stores like Fairway in New York, and independents like Gourmet Glatt in Brooklyn. New products again drove sales in many areas, most notably in flavored beverages, snacks, and sauces. Kosherfest will open on Tuesday with the yearly state of the industry address by Kosherfest founder and co-producer Menachem Lubinsky.
Exhibitors and visitors have begun to arrive from all over the US and more than a dozen countries. There will be a great deal of focus on the large international pavilions from Israel, Argentina and the Philippines. Each of the countries will be sponsoring special events at the show. Israel will sponsor a special breakfast on Wednesday morning. Also of intense interest will be the new products, particularly the winners of the New Product Competition, who will receive their awards at a ceremony in each of their booths shortly after the show opens.