May 16, 2011

Winn-Dixie in Bold Initiative to Win Kosher Market Share in South Florida

Aventura, Fl…The Winn-Dixie supermarket chain is preparing to embark on a major initiative to win significant market share of Florida’s kosher market. Winn-Dixie is planning to remodel three stores to include a major kosher food selection, replete with freshly cut meats, deli, fish, bakery, and a broad assortment of fresh, refrigerated and frozen kosher foods. According to Deborah Shapiro, Specialty Foods Category Manager for Winn-Dixie Stores, the first such remodeled store will be in Aventura which will celebrate its grand opening on June 2nd. The store model will be like some of the SuperValu stores that have kosher supervision in the store and whose deli is closed on Shabbat. The Aventura store will be under the supervision of the ORB, (Orthodox Rabbinical Board of Broward and Palm Beach Counties). Winn-Dixie officials say that stores in Tamarac and Boca Raton will be the next stores to be remodeled into full kosher stores.


Industry sources say that the move by Winn-Dixie is significant in that it will considerably upgrade the kosher offerings in Florida, a state with some 750,000 Jews and perhaps as many as 300,000 “snowbird” Jews during the winter and on some holidays. It was in early 2010 that Albertson’s closed its Boca Raton store following the sale to SuperValu. The Boca Raton store was considered a major destination for kosher shoppers. The sources say that Winn-Dixie will no doubt upstage Publix, the major supermarket chain in the South Florida area, which they say has been slow to take advantage of the opportunities for kosher in many of its stores. Although, it has been slowly adding kosher products in Miami Beach, kosher aisles are still included with “ethnic foods” and kosher items are scattered without significant signage. Winn-Dixie ranked 24th in the 2010 "Top 75 North American Food Retailers" based on 2009 fiscal year estimated sales of $7.3 billion by Supermarket News and was ranked the 43rd largest retailer in the United States based on 2006 revenues by Stores magazine. Winn-Dixie operates 485 stores in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi. The company has existed under its present name since 1955 and can date its roots back to 1925.