February 22, 2016

Whole Foods Steps up Kosher Game to Thwart Inroads by Costco

New York - With its earnings down, Whole Foods is betting on a whole new set of marketing initiatives to recoup its strength and to thwart gains by such discounters as Costco. The latter has stepped up its game when it comes to natural and organic foods, offering many items at less than Whole Foods Market stores do. In recent years, Whole Foods has dramatically increased its kosher offing, partnering with Kedem. It has recently agreed to carry many Kosher for Passover items, including many new items introduced by Kedem. They include Kosher for Passover fair trade coffee; salted, chocolate-drizzled coconut macaroons; ancient grain matzo and more, many of which will be exclusively available at Whole Foods Market for Passover 2016. The product mix adds to the national grocer’s wide array of natural, gluten-free and dairy-free choices. Kedem Food Products and Whole Foods Market began innovating together about 10 years ago when these leaders in their respective market segments recognized a real need for more natural and organic choices in kosher food.  Executive Vice President of Kayco, Harold Weiss, looked back on the decade-old relationship that began with a conversation he had with Errol Schweizer, Executive Grocery Coordinator at Whole Foods Market. “At Whole Foods Market, we are committed to offering our customers new and unique choices that not only meet dietary needs, but are also produced to a higher standard,” said Mr. Schweizer. “Year after year, Kedem has helped us deliver on that promise to our kosher shoppers. From formulating tried-and-true Passover staples without GMO's or artificial ingredients, to creating new twists on traditional favorites, Kedem is constantly innovating, in consultation with us, to offer products customers can't find anywhere else."

Costco has in recent years added many Kosher for Passover items, including pastries from Schick’s Bakery. Whole Foods and Costco have in recent years become major destinations for kosher consumers, particularly those that are located in Jewish neighborhoods.