December 15, 2014

SPECIAL FEATURE: Big Kosher Story of 2014 was an Industry that Kept Pace with Decade-Old Growth

NEW  YORK — 2014 will go down in history as a year when no one event dominated the headlines. Instead, it will be noted for a year of steady growth in every category despite concerns of slippage in some markets. It was a year of many new products, new upscale restaurant openings and more independent kosher food store openings as well as some growth in the supermarket and discount chains. But there were some stories covered in Kosher Today that are worthy of mention as 2014 comes to a close. Here are some of our choices for honorable mention:

The closing of the last Kosher Delight store in Flatbush was a major event not only for the local residents who had lost a favorite eatery, but also because it represented the end of an era for what some had hoped would be the first glatt kosher fast food chain.

By the same token, the Prime Group continues its march towards becoming the major glatt kosher restaurant chain with its new location for the Prime Grill in Manhattan, Passover program and soon to open Flatbush location.

Competition heated up in markets like Boro Park with the opening of the new Breadberry and in Chicago with the opening of a new Wal-Mart, a major expansion at Jewel-Osco, the many offerings of Hungarian Kosher and a soon to come Mariano’s.

Jews of Sephardic descent received the welcome news of a new certification for kitniyot by the OU.

The Commack Kosher Caterers Deli & Market of Suffolk that successfully fought the New York State’s 100 year kosher food laws has closed its doors. “I didn’t fail the community, the community failed me,” Brian Yarmeisch, the owner, told one customer.

The Manischewitz Company, one of the world’s largest kosher manufacturers, was acquired by Sankaty Advisors, the credit affiliate of Bain Capital. The company was founded in 1888 by Rabbi Dov Behr Manischewitz.

Tnuva, an Israeli food giant was acquired by  China's Bright Food Group.

Growing anti-Semitism in Europe included targeting some kosher stores and an effort to remove kosher products from some stores in the UK. With more than 3000 rockets targeting Israel during the war with Hamas, many Americans  supported  Israel by buying Israeli products, including food.

Kosher cookbooks are hot sellers, according to Judaica stores in many parts of the country.

Philadelphia Cream Cheese changed its mind about making some of its products non-kosher. The company had earlier announced that certain varieties of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Spreads would no longer be kosher certified upon the launch of the new bacon flavor.

Attempts in Europe to curb kosher slaughter continued to dominate headlines but Poland rescinded its earlier ban.

The high price of food continues to be a major issue in Israel and may very well become an issue in the nation’s upcoming elections.