August 20, 2012

On-Line Kosher Sales Lag Behind Retail But Gain in Specialty

NEW YORK — The optimists had hoped that by 2012, a lion’s share of kosher shopping would shift on-line. They opined that with the world moving quickly towards e-commerce, kosher would not be far behind. It appears, however, that despite the optimism, the pace of growth has slowed considerably, partly as a result of consumer behavior of all consumers and partially directly related to kosher customers. While on-line growth has severely lagged behind the growth of retail which grew by 10%-15% over the last five years, some specialty sites have thrived, particularly the gift market. 

On-line grocery shopping in general has still not gained the traction that many had prophesized, according to the Mintel Research Group. As a group, food shoppers prefer to “see, smell, touch and taste,” said one marketing expert. But kosher shopping on-line also deals with many other considerations. A significant number of the growing core kosher market, namely Chasidim, do not frequent the internet. Many shoppers visit stores based on kosher certification.

Although there are plenty of on-line sites offering standard kosher fare, there are a few that take it one step further and  sell gourmet kosher food, such as aged cheeses, hard-to-get breads and dough, margarita mixes, pickled meats, and luxurious chocolates. iGourmet is an online website that touts its fares as “Specialty cheeses, fine foods, and exquisite gifts.” Their dedicated kosher section features upscale cheeses such as Rum and Raisin Chevre and Honey Goat by Montchevre. Available chocolate includes Habanero and Jalapeno Chile Fudge Bites and Marich Mint Chip Malt balls.

Kosher.com and AviGlatt.com seem to have penetrated a wide market with their gourmet kosher meats, which include whole duck, pickled beef tongue, lemon and herb chicken thighs, and marinated lamb kabobs. 

For those looking to give a gift basket without the headache of actually assembling their own, there is Kosher.com, which sells (among many other things) beautiful gift baskets that can be used for almost any occasion. The baskets contain a fantastic combination of chocolates, cookies, nuts, dried fruits, crackers, preservers, coffee, tea and more. They are beautifully arranged and come in different sizes to help suit your needs. AviGlatt.com even features helpful videos, demonstrating how-to’s on preparation methods such as rib steak rubbing and grilling.

Order N’ Relax (Ordernrelax.com) offers everything a Jewish family needs, from extra pacifiers to weekly magazines. They also offer an extensive choice of breads and dough, catering to many different taste buds and diet restrictions. Their selection includes Healthy Jo Omega Power bread, Gluten Free Oat Challah rolls, and Gluten Free Whole Grain bread.