Secaucus, NJ - 4,000 at Opening Day of Kosherfest
Secaucus, NJ - A record crowd of 4,000 representatives of the food industry converged today on the Meadowlands Exposition Center for the first day of the annual 2-day Kosherfest. Now in its 22nd year, Kosherfest exhibitors showcased more than 300 new products with Asian noodles by Luck Chin winning the top prize in the show’s New Product Competition.
According to the Mintel Research Organization, 5,000 new food products sold in the US in 2008 were kosher certified with a similar number expected in 2009. The exhibits at this year’s kosher food trade show included a blend of the traditional large kosher companies with many new manufacturers. The large booths belonged to the Kedem Group, Osem and Manischewitz. One booth that drew considerable attention was a huge motorized shopping cart with thousands of kosher products by Kosher.Com, an on-line kosher grocer.
Even before the show opened in the morning, industry leaders heard a report on the state of kosher from Menachem Lubinsky, the show founder and co-producer who is CEO of LUBICOM Marketing Consulting. “We have witnessed a complete transformation of the kosher market from a middle-aged and older kosher shopper to a younger consumer,” he noted. “For the first time, the majority of kosher shoppers (55%) are under the age of 40, which explains why the kosher industry has expanded into many non-traditional gourmet, health, natural and organic items.” More than 30 booths this year displayed spelt-free products, a growing trend in the kosher market. Visitors came from 30 states and 19 countries with noticeable representation from Israel (22 booths), Argentina, France and Italy. Kashrus organizations from around the globe were well represented including Montreal and Toronto, Capetown, Souh Africa and the Bais Din of London.
Some of the key buyers that visited the first day of the show came from such large supermarket chains as Super-Valu, Acme, Shoprite, HEB, Safeway, Stew Leonards, Wegmans, A & P, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Costco, and Zabar’s. Kosherfest was once again a fascinating mix of Orthodox and Chasidic buyers and exhibitors with non-Jewish, Muslim, Asian and other ethnicities in the food industry. Nearly 21% of Americans buy kosher, many with a preference for deli, pickles, frozen bagels and of late even hummus. Lubinsky and Mintel estimate the kosher market at well over $11 billion in annual sales. The kosher food show ends here on Wednesday evening.
Like last year VIN News will have exclusive photos by photographer Joel Lowy, of the many products and company’s attending the show, It will posted tomorrow
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