November 2, 2009

Shufersal Debuts 1,000 Kosher Private Label Product

Jerusalem…KosherToday Israel Bureau Chief…Shufersal (formerly known and still referred to by many as Super-Sol), Israel’s largest chain of retail supermarkets, launched its 1,000th private kosher label item at the home of Walter Huffner, the Swiss ambassador to Israel. The venue was chosen to celebrate the new Swiss milk and dark chocolate bars which marks the 18-month partnership between Frey’s premium Swiss chocolate manufacturer and Shufersal. Frey’s chocolates are certified kosher in Israel and in the US where they are sold in major retailers such as COSTCO, Target and Safeway as well as in Marks and Spencer’s in the UK. Shufersal CEO Effi Rosenhaus noted that they debuted a line of private label products in 2006 and were the first chain retailer to market products under their own name driven by a philosophy of value for money. He noted that there are currently 75 Israeli manufacturers and 48 food companies worldwide under license to create products for Shufersal’s private label.

Rosenhaus told KosherToday that Shufersal has the world’s largest selection of private label kosher products with 1,000 items now in its inventory. He said that exporting those products to Europe is possible but not for many years. He knows there is great demand in Germany, Belgium and France, for example, adding that it’s not just among the Jewish communities. Uzi Peretz, Director of Shufersal’s Private Label line said he looks for two things when considering new PL products for the chain: quality and kashrus. He told KosherToday that he frequently meets with European food producers regarding a potential partnership like they now have with Frey but often the products can’t be made kosher. He cited snack foods as an example because of the ingredients for which kosher substitutes don’t exist. Peretz also said that Shufersal won’t be ready to export its kosher private label line until there are hundreds more products including an extensive line of dairy products. The new Shufersal Swiss chocolate bars are expected to take a bite out of Strauss Elite whose popular milk chocolate with its cow logo has become an icon in Israel and accounts for some 65 percent of the chocolate bar sales in the country.