New York – by Devorah Paltiel and KT Staff Reporters – Walking down the aisles of The Summer Fancy Food Show at the Javits Center on June 26th was like stepping into an edible wonderland. Surveying the vast array of specialty food products was overwhelming, but the number of items at this year’s summer show bearing kosher certification was utterly mind-blowing. Over 1145 products including the likes of craft ginger ale, roasted seaweed, popcorn pizza, and jalapeno chocolate bore kosher symbols, with scores of exhibitors proudly displaying their kosher status. Many company representatives told Kosher Today of their eagerness to put their products’ kosher certification to good use and make headway into the kosher market.
Although many kosher-certified products were not created to specifically target kosher, there were a handful of kosher-specific exhibitors looking to make a splash in the non-kosher market. Aufschnitt had their premium artisanal beef and turkey jerky on display; Galil dished out samples of their peeled, cooked, ready-to-eat beets; and Karmit showcased their chocolate and wafer delights. One delightful exhibitor was The Matzo Project, a company which has taken the traditional matzo and turned it into a modern-day delicacy with a line of matzo and matzo chips in flavors such as cinnamon sugared and “everything.” Their products are not only kosher certified under the OU, but are vegan, nut-free, dairy-free, and all natural.
The Fancy Food Show was also the perfect opportunity for kosher distributors and manufacturers, many of whom were seen roaming around on the lookout for the next hot kosher item, or non-kosher product to recreate in kosher. Another interesting sight was in the Chinese section, where booth after booth displayed items bearing kosher certification. In fact, the number of Chinese food companies wanting to get in on the kosher act was really quite astounding. Overall many exhibitors told Kosher Today that kosher certification has really added value to their products, not just in the kosher market but in halal as well. Thus the number of kosher-certified products featured at The Fancy Food Show and other food shows worldwide continues to rise annually. There was consensus, however, that as much as the Fancy Food Show was a showcase, Kosherfest in November will be where the products are ultimately sold.