January 13, 2014

MARKETING: Many Retailers Celebrate Tu BÕShvat with Magnificent Displays and Ads

NEW YORK — Never has fruit looked this good as some of the leading kosher independent stores featured life size photographs of exotic fruits in full page ads in major Jewish publications. Most notable were ads by Pomegranate, Gourmet Glatt, and Evergreen. The occasion is Tu B’Shvat (January 16th and 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat) which is the New Year for trees (or everything that grows on trees). Traditionally, Jews make a special blessing on new fruits that they don’t consume throughout the year. But Tu B’Shvat has taken on a life of its own with many festive events, gift giving of fruit baskets and even special parties. At Jewel Osco's in Chicago, the ads featured many packaged items from Klein’s, including Natural Dried Guava, Natural Dried Kiwi, and Natural Exotic Dried Fruits. The MK kashrus agency of Montreal released a special guide on the many fruits and nuts, indicating where certification is necessary, including many packaged items.

As the kosher industry continues to upgrade their marketing of kosher foods, including magnificent presentations and ads with beautiful photos, the non-kosher industry seems to be moving in the opposite direction. The  advertising firm JWT (WPPGY) predicts that  2014  will be one to be “proudly imperfect”—including in the world of food. The rugged hand-made look is already spreading, from imperfectly shaped “artisan” pizzas at Domino’s (DPZ), to uneven “carving board” cuts of Oscar Meyer (KRFT) turkey, to eggs that aren’t shaped like discs in McDonald’s (MCD) Egg White Delight McMuffins. When told of the new trend, a seasoned kosher food retailer said: “I don’t know about them but we are still working on perfection.”