MONTREAL— For many years supermarket and discount chains would “pay lip-service,” to Chanukah, observed a Chabad emissary in New England. He was referring to the lone Menorah that would be strategically placed amongst the many decorations for the holiday season. But, he noted, that times are changing with supermarkets offering special shelves with Chanukah products, recipes for latkes (Wegman’s), and even dreidel contests.
In Montreal, the MK-Canada’s Kosher Certifier, in conjunction with Walmart, on the first day of Chanukah last week, the Walmart store on Jean Talon had a special display table set up at the entrance of the store where members of the MK, as well some Lubavitch representatives handed out information about Chanukah with free Chanukah kits and MK key chains. Walmart was also offering competitive prices on many Chanukah items, including Streit’s Potato Pancake Mix, oil, applesauce, onions, and potatoes as well as many Chanukah themed items. Menorahs and candles are on special, along with chocolate Chanukah gelt and dreidel games.
According to some purveyors, the stores are becoming more aware of Chanukah as perhaps the second most lucrative Jewish holiday, next to Passover. Kosher food sources say that while in the past, many stores focused only on Christmas in December, an increasing number of stores are now actively promoting their Chanukah programs, some with FSI’s in newspapers. Said one distributor: “For years, I would tell them that they are missing out on Chanukah; they are finally listening.”