November 3, 2008

So what’s new in kosher?

I can already anticipate the question by reporters at the upcoming Kosherfest. Some are not satisfied with just surveying the new products that are in the New Product Showcase or the list of winners of the annual New Products Competition. The answer was simple when you were able to point to an Entenmanns’s or a Nabisco, particularly the Oreo, that had gone kosher. But the supply of large icon companies and brands that make the decision to go kosher has long since dried up since most are already kosher. The fact that kosher is not making news with big name additions should not be viewed in any way that kosher has plateaued. On the contrary, kosher is on the rise for a variety of reasons that bode well for the industry as a whole.

Today, kosher offers the kosher consumer an unprecedented variety of products that meet their lifestyle, budgets and health needs. A walk through Kosherfest will include seeing Asian kosher, gluten-free kosher, sugar-free kosher, gourmet kosher, Italian kosher, Mediterranean kosher and more. New and improved packaging is making the products attractive not only to traditional consumers, but to the many non-traditional kosher consumers that check out the kosher aisles. In fact, some kosher products have no equal in the non-kosher market, making them attractive to almost every shopper that walks into a supermarket.

So when someone asks: “What’s new in kosher?” the answers are varied. But in some cases the answer will come by eyeing the packaging while in other instances it will mean talking a bite to taste the major upgrades in quality of the kosher food industry. Hundreds of new products were submitted this year to the New Products Competition, an indication that creativity and innovation in kosher shows no sign of letting up, and that’s new!