December 20, 2010

They’re Baking Matzos Already?

Yes, Matzoh baking for Passover is underway. This, despite the fact that in many homes people are still munching shmura matzoh from last year’s crop. All the signs that Pesach (Passover) will soon be upon us are clear. For me, they begin at Kosherfest each year, as I watch the discussions and even the transactions that take place at the show. And each year, I am reminded by some industry people that Kosherfest is more towards the tail end of the Passover ordering process rather than the beginning. What they try to explain is that many retailers have already completed their plans for the next Passover, but not to despair, since they still have room for a product here and there that is worthy of a second look. So it is that many products displayed at Kosherfest for the first time end up on grocery shelves for the lucrative holiday set.

Occasionally I hear a purveyor complain that by the time Kosherfest comes around they are simply not yet ready with a “great item.” I politely advise them that they would be wise to launch the product in a few smaller stores that are not so rigid in their planning for Pesach and then use the experience for a major launch a year hence. You guessed it, they don’t have the patience and beg for some way to secure placement even this year. And this year is not the ideal year in any case. Passover falls at the end of March which means that many Passover sets will be in position by late February. Yes, it’s that close, leading me to wonder if some people should not start thinking about Passover 2010. That is if the Messiah (Moshiach) does not come first!