June 25, 2018

New Studies Suggest Kosher Industry Should Prepare for New Explosive Growth

New York…The kosher industry should prepare for explosive growth if recent studies by noted researcher Stephen Cohen and the highly acclaimed Pew Research Center data are correct. According to these studies, while “the overall American Jewish population size is stable and growing…the Orthodox population (Haredi, centrist, and modern) is exploding. The non-Orthodox (Conservatives and Reform) are in sharp decline.” The studies point out that over two generations, the Orthodox pretty much quadrupled in size. This explains why the kosher food industry is one of the few segments in the overall food category that has grown by double-digits since 2010. In fact, the researchers now boldly predict that within the next 40 years, the Orthodox will be the majority of American Jewry. Some social scientists in the past considered the Orthodox growth a mere trade-off, meaning that while many non-Orthodox are no longer involved in Jewish life, they are being replaced by the growth Orthodox population. Mr. Cohen points out: “In fact, non-Orthodox Jewish trend lines resemble the trend lines for American Catholics and Mainline Protestants. They’re all marked by declining adherents and participation, as “no-religion” Americans have recently become the largest religious “denomination” in America.” The analysis of the data suggests that the Orthodox growth will outpace the declines thus assuring double-digit growth for kosher in the unforeseeable future.

In revisiting the 5-year old Pew survey, according to the Forward, Dr. Edieal Pinker, a professor at Yale University’s School of Management, and Dr Cohen noted that “there will be more Orthodox than Reform and Conservative combined within about 40 years. And before the end of this century the Orthodox will outnumber all other American Jews combined.” The biggest growth in the Pew Study is amongst children, which is why the studies project such robust growth for the Orthodox. If these studies are correct, the kosher food industry should grow by 10% - 15% a year and perhaps quadruple again in just two generations.