October 28, 2013

New Product Winners at Kosherfest Appeal to Younger, Health Conscious Kosher Consumers

A Special Review of the New Products


SECAUCUS, NJ — There will be plenty of attention paid to the Best New Product at Kosherfest 2013, the Single Serve k Cup Single Serve Coffee in three flavors – chai tea, pareve cappuccino and hot chocolate – introduced by Corim Industries of Brick, New Jersey. The growing infatuation of new and different beverages has no doubt also captured the imagination of kosher consumers.  But a look at some of the other products that won the competition is indicative of the changes in the kosher market that appeal to younger and health conscious consumers, and they do not necessarily coincide. Take Premier Tasty Meats, the winner in the Meats, Seafood, Poultry category, as an example. They have taken the popular beef brisket and made news with their Hickory Smoked Beef Brisket. Located in Dallas, TX Premier Tasty Meats was born from years of curing and spicing meats. 

Diverting attention to wines is no small feat because no category has made such large strides as wines, witness the extraordinary accomplishments of the Kedem group, who have been at Kosherfest all 25 years. But this year the judges were impressed with a product from Happy Hearts Wine from Brooklyn, NY. The product was  Domain Ventura 2009 Merons Limited Edition. Ventura Winery is owned by David Ventura, a French Jew that made wine in France for generations, and now has a small winery in Israel and is producing great wines. The Merons is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot that is from a small vineyard that grows next to the winery, 20 months in French oak. His wines are French style Israeli wine.

Snacking is another category that continues to expand, both in the old fashion sugary stuff and the new calorie conscious natural ingredient snack foods. This was the first year that Kosherfest had a Sweet Snacks category and the winner was Matt’s Munchies Premium Fruit Snack by Mauzone Mania from Brooklyn, NY. “We are Maniacs when it comes to nutrition, health, & great tasting products so we make sure to provide our customers with as many healthy choices as possible without sacrificing taste. We offer a wide variety of products with a wide range of nutritional values which include: Gluten Free, Vegan, Organic, high in Fiber, Protein, Potassium, Omega-3, and low in Calories & Carbs. And of course all of our products are Certified Kosher!” said David Fried, Owner, Mauzone Mania. So there is your health-concious version. 

Another winner in the snacks Desserts/Baked Goods category was Baked By Melissa Cupcakes from NYC. Ever since she was a little girl, Melissa loved to bake. So when she was fired from her job in advertising in 2008, Melissa adopted a new life and baked and baked. Her new idea was for people to be able to taste more flavors without that post-dessert guilt trip.  Melissa’s bite size cupcakes are all about the flavors. There’s your increased focus on taste.

For kosher consumers who enjoy snacking but must avoid the sugar comes Schmerling’s Sugarless Rosemarie Parve & Rosemarie Milk Chocolates, the winner in the Candy category. Their Rosemarie Milk and Rosemarie Parve praline-filled chocolate bars have been favorites for many years. It was quite a challenge to develop the Sugarless version of these chocolates without compromising the delicious taste consumers have come to love, the company says. 

At this year’s show there will be many new items for Passover, as has become customary at previous shows. And if there is one category that could use some help during the 8-day holiday season, which is probably desserts. Enter Finchi’s Decadent Chocolate Mousse by Aunti Rashi from Edison, NJ. Owner Rachelle Kassai recently changed the company name from Aunti Rashi’s Goodies to Finchi’s by Aunti Rashi in honor her late father. Finchi, Hungarian for “delicious”, is a tribute to Rachelle’s father’s dedication to quality. Finchi’s products are also available for purchase all year round.

Health is certainly the focus of the winner in the Breads, Grains, Cereals and Crackers category.  Goldbaum’s Gluten Free Flatbreads by Goldbaum’s Natural n Tasty, Newark, NJ was tops here. According to Moe Parnes, Director of Product Development, “We have a Research department, they’re on top of the latest food trends and we try to work to get more health products out there. It’s changing day by day. Our goal is to make good, healthy products to get people off junk food.” Goldbaums Natural Food Co. is a premier manufacturer of natural gluten-free products. Their products are manufactured in a facility that is free of soy, gluten, dairy & nuts.

Winner in the Savory & Salty Snack Foods was Solomon's Sippets - Soup Croutons. In Australia, it has wide national distribution and is a family favorite in many pantries. In the USA, it is  distributed by G & G Fine Foods. Solomon’s established themselves in the 1890’s in Sydney, manufacturing kosher goods for Australians with a focus on Solomon’s Sippets TM soup croutons/snack, soup noodles and Matzo. 

In a related category, Adam Kay, founder of Carlos & Gabby's, was looking for the right opportunity to introduce his brand new line of Smokehouse dressings and marinades. This line brings the signature taste and flavor of the Carlos & Gabbys experience, “from our restaurants to the comfort of your home!”

So what else can you do with poultry beyond chicken nuggets, chicken franks and more. Enter KJ Poultry (Monroe NY) with its Breaded Chicken Fries. According to Chaim Oberlander, General Manager of KJ Poultry, “We have the highest standard of kosher chicken in the industry and we are the only kosher poultry plant in New York State, which allows us to be close to all the supermarkets.”

Kosher dairy continues to make impressive strides in expanding the number of products that are available to the kosher consumer. Last year it was Norman’s Greek Yogurt which took the market by storm. This year’s notable new product was Anderson’s Natural & Kosher Cheese Maker Selection. “Our new product, the Natural & Kosher Cheese Maker’s Selection, is an example how our goal is to always brings excitement and sophistication to the kosher cheese market” said Brigitte Mizrahi and her team at Anderson International Foods, Inc.

Regular show attendees have noticed the growing line of kosher products by Exotic Sauce Packaging. This year they were the winners of the Pasta, Rice, Beans & Soups category for their Mikee Mac Non-Dairy Macaroni & Cheese Dinner. “We make parve/non dairy Caesar dressing, we make parve/non dairy nacho cheese…those are just two examples…then we make Parve Mac & CheeZe, states Peter Kaufman, President of Exotic Sauce Packaging Inc./MIKEE.