April 8, 2013

Passover 2013 Shows Record Growth for Many, Nearing 20%

NEW YORK — While several smaller markets reported either no sales gains or even a slight decline, Passover 2013 may have reached record gains in larger markets like New York, Miami and Chicago. Yakov Yarmove of Jewel-Osco reported that sales were “strong in Chicago, but not as strong elsewhere (other smaller markets with major kosher sections).” He added: “Apparently the early Pesach did affect areas where the snowbirds head South and stay until they can be sure winter is gone.” 

In New York, several independent kosher retailers reported sales increases of “up to 20%,” making this the strongest Passover in recent memory. Some of the major kosher purveyors also reported strong sales, some due to a growing core market of Orthodox Jews, particularly amongst Chasidic Jews. Although most stores appeared to have been better stocked with Passover products than in the past, there were still shortages of many items, including margarine, some yogurts, condiments, and snacks. 

Distributors say that stores are often caught off guard by demand that “may not necessarily be reminiscent of past years.” They also say that customer habits tend to change based on the way the holiday falls. “With a longer mid-week Chol Hamoed (interim days), you will sell more travel foods such as snacks,” said one distributor. Purveyors also reported strong foodservice sales, particularly to some 80 Passover programs nationwide who reported a banner year.

Photo courtesy of Jewel-Osco