September 8, 2015

Retailers Serve the “Cookers” and the “Non-Cookers” on the Eve of Rosh Hashanah

Brooklyn - Tova, a 30ish mother of 4, cooked a good deal of her dishes for Rosh Hashanah the week she returned from the Catskills in late August. In fact, she has already frozen several roasts, soups, desserts, and kugels (puddings), many of them from the voluminous recipes thrown her way from such magazines as Binah, Mishpacha, Ami and Joy of Kosher. She was an early bird holiday shopper and referred to by a large Brooklyn retailer as a member of the “cookers.” She admits that at one time she was a “non-cooker” which meant she shopped only days before the holiday and relied largely on the prepared foods she bought. Retailers have come to learn the habits of both groups and even more importantly to cater to their needs. It is because of the cookers that stores feel the importance of being stocked with Rosh Hashanah items a month or more before the holiday. Indeed, Tova bought most of her ingredients almost three weeks before the holiday and appreciated a display of honey as well as baking items. Nowadays the cookers are younger like Tova and many even show up at the fish department to buy ground fish so that they can make gefilte fish from scratch rather than buy the ready-to-cook frozen loaves which according to some retailers is expected to reach record sales this year. The stores say that the frozen variety is popular with both the cookers and the non-cookers. For now, it seems that retailers have simplified the definition of shoppers into two categories, cookers and non-cookers.