NEW YORK — Three months before the first Seder on the eve of April 14th, the kosher community is already in Passover mode, according to industry sources. The baking of matzos has begun in earnest. Retailers are completing their “planograms” and orders are being placed. The number of new products to be introduced may top last year’s estimate of 350 new items. Amongst these new products will be the new OU kosher for Passover status for kitniyot (eaten by Sephardic Jews from Middle East descent). Quinoa also got the stamp of approval from the OU.
Despite a Jewish leap year and an extra few weeks on the calendar, the industry is in full Passover mode with only the holiday of Purim in the way. With an improved economy and kosher being available in many new locations, the industry is hoping that last year’s slump in some secondary markets will reverse itself. Retailers in those areas are said to be “hanging in there,” was the way one distributor put it.