March 23, 2015

Matzoh Prices Rise but Bargains Abound

NEW YORK — If you walked into a hand-made Matzoh bakery in Brooklyn, the chances are that you might pay as much as $24 a lb. for the Shmurah Matzoh and often more for whole wheat matzohs, but you could find bargains at such places as Goldberg’s for as low as $8 a lb. and even at Amazon for $19.99 a lb. Prices for the hand made matzoh varied in Kosher Today’s annual review of the Matzoh market.

Food experts estimated matzoh sales at $90 million in 2014. It was a year that saw an 11% decline in the sale of Israeli matzos after steady gains in the previous five years gibing the Israelis a near 40% market share. But retailers say that they expect the Israeli matzohs to rebound somewhat this year, just how much remains to be seen. There are indications that machine matzohs will see record sales this year.

Both Manischewitz and Streit’s, the two largest domestic producers of matzohs are projecting significant increases in sales.  Manischewitz has made significant strides in the year since it was acquired by Sankaty. It has aggressively marketed its matzoh and other products including a four-day event at Chelsea Market in New York. Streit’s has also stepped up its marketing to consumers through spokesperson actress Jill Zarin.

Sales of hand-made Shmura Matzoh are expected to rise by 15%, reflecting natural growth in the Orthodox market and the continued expansion of availability in supermarkets and discount stores like Costco. While the pricey shmurah matzoh was in years past exclusively bought by more religious Jews, the round slightly burnt handmade matzoh is being purchased by more modern Orthodox and secular Jews. It is believed to account for more than 20% of all Matzoh sales. A spokesman for the Kedem group that imports the Yehuda brand from Israel said that its sales have actually increased. Yehuda has brought much innovation to the market, especially with its gluten-free matzoh.