March 8, 2010

Record Sales for Passover Expected Despite Ongoing Recession

New York…”Passover is definitely in the air,” a Brooklyn food distributor said as he surveyed the aisles of one of his customers. He and two workers were stocking two aisles with Pesach groceries as the manager was covering one register for customers already buying foods to get a head start on cooking for Passover. Most retailers throughout the country are by now into the Passover season. In Cedarhurst LI, Gourmet Glatt has opened a special Passover store directly across from their year-round store. In recent years, a number of stores opened the separate stores. The Orthodox Union opened its annual special Web site,, featuring laws of Passover, holiday recipes, cleaning tips, and informative articles. The site compliments the OU’s popular Passover guide. Most of the other major kashrus agencies also publish special guides for the holiday as well as special features on their Web sites. The cRc in Chicago this year published a 56-page guide that was available in both a hard copy and in a downloadable version. A KosherToday reader wrote: “I cannot believe the number of recipes that are available this year on-line.” As an example, she cited food writer Eileen Goltz who is out with many recipes for the holiday, including one for pizza.

While most industry sources are predicting a record year for sales of Passover foods, the number of people relying on assistance from Jewish charity has grown significantly, according to the Metropolitan Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty. SuperValu (with stores like Jewel’s, Albertson’s and Acme) have teamed up with Manischewitz (Rokeach and Mother’s products are included) in a charity drive to help the United Soup Kitchens in Israel, according to Yakov Yarmove. Manischewitz now has OU-P whole wheat matzah meal and whole wheat matzah farfel, both made from Manischewitz OU-P whole wheat matzah. In fact, the SuperValu stores are offering a free 5lb. box of matzoh with the purchase of $50 or more of Passover products. The OU now certifies Aviv, Osem, Yehuda, and Rishon matzah products from Israel as well as the Yanovsky bakery in Argentina. The Matzah can be washed down with OU-P Coca Cola which will again be available in 2 liter bottles with its distinctive yellow caps. And for those who may be wondering, Barton’s is back this year after a one-year hiatus.