December 29, 2014

Shelves to Become More Crowded in 2015 But New Products Still Welcome

NEW  YORK — Supermarkets catering to the kosher market will strive to accommodate some of the 300 new items that will be introduced in 2015, but they also say that their shelves are increasingly becoming more crowded and that some adjustments will be necessary. Many of the supermarkets have long lamented about the overlap of items that have become euphemistically become known as “the seventh brand of kosher mayonnaise.” The adjustments they speak of are removing “slow movers” and “duplicate items” that are weaker than the more popular brands.

While no one expects any “breakthrough” items or “galloping brands” like Goldbaum’s or Shibolim, some were actually inviting “new winners.” In discussions with many in the kosher food industry, there was talk of the steep increases for meat prices, the growing popularity of prepared foods, the continued growth of Sushi, the popularity of Greek Yogurt and the expanding dairy section, and the benefits of good in-store displays, particularly during holiday time (space permitting). As for the holidays, the industry considers it a rather “ordinary” year with Passover falling in early April and Rosh Hashanah in mid-September. Ironically, production of some Passover items has already begun as the holiday is just a little more than three months away.

In general, 2015 is expected to mirror 2014 with several new supermarket openings, in such places as Chicago, Lakewood and Monsey. It will no doubt have the usual number of openings and closings of kosher restaurants and even in places that you would least expect, like the recent opening in Tokyo.