December 15, 2020

Robust Chanukah Season Despite Pandemic: Many Report Increase in Sales

New York…The pandemic notwithstanding, the festival of Chanukah turned out to be a huge success. “It was all about great food,” one executive said, a           albeit that many large parties did not take place this year, including large parties in Manhattan. Some stores had novel programs with the traditional foods like doughnuts and latkes but “good food” including meat dishes and even “elegant sushi” carried the day. At Brooklyn’s Breadberry, it was all about the menu for each of the 8 nights of Chanukah. Abraham Banda, of the Pomegranate kosher supermarket and who considers himself a pioneer of good food in kosher invited Chanukah revelers to “indulge in a decadent donut from our vast selection of ready-made or from a large selection of make your own donut kits.” Mr. Banda also highlighted his colorful Chanukah themed candy, chocolate platters, and specialty donut shaped chocolates and ice cream.

At Kayco, the “selection of products has not really changed for us, but we did see a nice (sales) lift, especially in Chanukah specific items, followed closely by crossover (items).” According to Kayco’s Harold Weiss. “Chanukah specific items that lifted sales were led by Manischewitz Chanukah Houses (as kids are home doing projects), along with Manischewitz and Elite Coins / Gelt, Chocolates (Elite Chocolate Bars) and Manischewitz Potato Pancake / Latke Mix. Mr. Weiss continued “We also saw a lift in Kedem Sparkling Juices.  Tuscanini Pizza and Lipton Kosher sales increased by double digits year over year, Knorr Falafel, Gefen Beets and Chestnuts lifted nicely.  The return of Manischewitz Soups was a big success and the re-introduction was timed well (with Chanukah).

Mayer Gold of the Season kosher supermarkets says that there were some differences in this Covid-19-year Chanukah. “The annual Chanukah party was trimmed down with perhaps one family coming over each night. In light of Covid restrictions still in place, we geared up for smaller intimate family gatherings. We offered revised menus of prepared foods to accommodate smaller groups. Many families that usually go away for Chanukah vacation stayed home this year, so sales of Chanukah related Nosh and toys are on the rise.”

In the large supermarket chains like Stop & Shop stores. The Chanukah assortment varies by customer base and volume. Said Stefanie Shuman, the External Communications Manager at Stop & Shop: “Overall, we carry a range including candy and toys like gelt, candy filled dreidels and dreidels, to the essentials like Chanukah candles, potato pancakes, potato pancake mixes and blintzes.”