March 9, 2015

Whole Foods in Dramatic Expansion of Kosher; Attracts Health-Conscious Kosher Consumers

New York - Add Whole Foods to the list of specialty supermarket chains that cater to kosher consumers. Although the chain with 392 stores and ever expanding network has always carried kosher items, it has in recent years put an increased focus on the category even going so far as to carry Passover items. This year, for the first time, the chain will carry a broad assortment of kosher for Passover items from Kedem, with a particular emphasis on all natural, gluten free, and dairy free items. Harold Weiss, Executive Vice President of Kedem Food Products, said: “We’ve worked with Whole Foods Market for years, developing products that meet shoppers’ dietary needs and also meet the company’s standards, including no artificial colorings, preservatives or sweeteners.” He added: “Who knew of Harrison’s Original Sweet Shoppe, All Natural/Fair Trade Chocolate Chips, Rebecca and Rose Gluten-Free Brownie Crunch or Yehuda Organic Matzo for Passover. None of these products were available until Kedem developed a program to bring them to Whole Foods.”

Whole Foods has become increasingly popular with health-conscious kosher consumers who covet many of their kosher certified products. Emily buys natural juices, specialty yogurts and organic fruits and vegetables. “I used to spend maybe $50 a week but now my bill is more than twice that,” she said as she was exiting a lower Manhattan Whole Foods store. Industry sources say that the chain has been extremely selective in ferreting out what is really worthy of a healthier designation.