June 17, 2013

Soft Passover Sales in Many Stores Attributed to Calendar and Planning

NEW YORK — Retailers across the country are analyzing sales data of Passover foods for 2013 and the results in some cases are less than stellar, KosherToday has learned. This is in sharp contrast to reports received from retailers in markets with heavy year-round concentrations of kosher consumers where sales are said to have increased by at least 10%. Many of the retailers who experienced the slow sales blame the calendar, as an early Passover traditionally means weaker sales. 

One retailer explained that mid-April with its traditional vacation period and warmer weather is far more conducive to larger baskets on the eve of Passover. There was the sense in some markets that the 4’-8’ set that some say can be found in well over 5,000 stores nationwide should not be a “one size fits all.” A national distributor of kosher foods said that “planograms” for Passover sets should factor in the strength of the kosher community in the area, competition from independents, and history of sales. 

Other distributors blamed duplication of items from several brands for the sluggish sales. Said one: “Who needs three different brands of kosher for Passover mayonnaise?” Interpreting the data has major implications on planning for the Passover 2014 season. Basing orders on 2013 may not be accurate because of the calendar, some manufacturers and distributors argue. In 2014, Passover begins on April 15th, more than two weeks later than 2013. While larger stores with a significant kosher clientele were able to do well with some of the new products that were introduced for the holiday, these products were not available in smaller sets.