August 1, 2016

Many Kosher Stores Desire to Have Somewhat of a Whole Foods Identity

Lakewood, NJ - The growing number of kosher independent supermarkets in this rapidly expanding community appeared to have at least to some degree the appearance of a Whole Foods store. Stores like Gourmet Glatt and Seasons have an unusually high number of what might be considered “health foods.” Kosher food experts told Kosher Today that many of the new kosher independents appear to blend a Whole Foods look with the mainstream supermarket appearance. Perhaps this trend is a carryover, they say, from the mainstream supermarkets and discount club stores like Costco that are also pecking away at the dominance of Whole Foods whose sales in recent months have been declining. On the kosher front, Whole Foods has significantly increased its kosher shelf space, even forming a partnership with Kayco (the Kedem food group). The trend towards carrying more gluten-free and health foods in general continues to be a big story for kosher, the experts say.

“Even if they are not into the organic and natural foods scene, they want to have somewhat of a Whole Foods feel,” was the way one distributor who serves the Lakewood stores said. The healthier items can be seen in the snack aisle as well as in the refrigerated and frozen goods. But there is also a carryover into the prepared foods section, say the experts. The U.S. Trademark and Patent Office recently rejected an attempt by Whole Foods to create a new slogan, “the World’s Healthiest Grocery Store” leading some to believe that the chain was preparing to significantly expand beyond its current, US, UK and Canada presence.