April 13, 2021

Passover in Michigan was Potpourri of Changes and Many New Options

Detroit, MI…Alan Gale, a periodic contributor to Kosher Today and the Kosher Crusader, reported on some interesting changes in the kosher market in Detroit. The Kosher Crusader visited Costco in Madison Heights. “They had a good amount of Passover items in stock. A new one this year was a very delicious looking 7-layer cake that costs about half the price you would pay in any other store.” He warned consumers that “the Passover 7- Layer cake were actually in the BREAD department, “so keep your eyes open for Passover products throughout the store.” Alan Gale noticed that there was a growing trend towards takeout and less cooking which also explains why local caterers were doing a booming business. Three kosher caterers this year converted to Passover. Johnny Pomodoro's, the large independent grocer and fruit market, had a large Passover selection. Pomodoro’s changed to non-Jewish ownership last year. Wal-Mart near a large Jewish neighborhood sold Shmura matzoh this year ($21/lb).

Mr. Gale reports that for the first time in memory, a major grocery chain, Kroger, slashed Passover food prices. Kroger is estimated to have about a 1/3 share of metro Detroit shoppers. All its stores are in the heavily Jewish northwest suburbs. Prices included 1lb matzoh for $1,  Gefilte fish in jars for $1.55. and 5 lb matzoh for $2.50. Candy, chocolates, and snacks were similarly reduced. Says Mr. Gale: “The thinking is, even with a heavy discount post-Pesach, the product won't move. So speed up the sales with less than a week to go to the holiday. This is corporate, computerized, profit-per-square-foot grocery management in 2021.”

Southfield Meijer shoppers found a full-court shopping experience like no other this Passover. Thanks to the retailer teaming up with Kayco. The products included Gefen Ketchup; Gefen Almond Milk Creamer, Tuscanini Italian Marinara Pasta Sauce, Tuscanini Italian Tomatoes Diced, Haddar Brownie Brittle and Elite Choco Spread, among others. “We were determined to provide an elevated Passover assortment to Meijer’s for its Detroit area consumers,” said Harold Weiss, an executive at Kayco, in a statement.” We are delighted to help Meijer become the community’s go-to resource for kosher products for Passover and year-round.”