Keeping it Kosher
Food and beverage companies are scrambling to go kosher to capture the lucrative kosher market.
Jewlarious Satire – When I was 17 years old, a Protestant high school classmate told me that her mother recommended that she marry a Jewish man. Why? “Because they’re responsible, they have good, professional jobs, and they won’t beat you.”
Jews are not only good for women to marry, they’re also, as we know, good for businesses in general. In the Southern California area, A Nice Jewish Boy Moving and Storage Company has been in operation since 1985. And if there’s anyone that knows about relocation, it’s we Jews.
The number one reason people buy kosher is for food quality (62%).
Lately, a number of new food and drink companies have placed Jews on their radar. Those companies are becoming increasingly interested in kosher, as they find it a powerful marketing tool. According to a new report by market research firm Mintel, the number one reason people buy kosher is for food quality (62%). The second most common reason is “general healthfulness” (51%). And the third is food safety (34%). Only 1% said they purchase kosher foods to follow kosher religious rules.
Realizing all this, food companies have been eager to cash in on the strong and growing U.S. market for kosher food and drink. And they have. According to Mintel, the growth in sales of kosher products – up 41 percent from 2003 to 2010 and projected to grow an additional 23 percent in 2013 – owes less to the popularity of keeping kosher or to new products than to existing products becoming certified by major kosher certifiers such as OU Kosher, Star-K Kosher, and COR.
As one example, synagogues are increasingly organizing events around whiskey, and whiskey makers are reaching out to the Jewish market. One such whiskey maker, Whiskey Jewbilee, has obtained official kosher certification for its bottlings. It recently drew a crowd of 250 to its tasting at Manhattan West Side Institutional Synagogue.
One wonders about how many new and established companies will decide to target this vibrant kosher foods and drink market – and exactly what their marketing campaigns might be. Perhaps the following might be representative of what we could be seeing one day in our increasingly expanding kosher foods and drink universe.
Ask any fan of kosher cuisine what the one food he or she most wishes was available in kosher format and you’ll invariably get the same response: “Jerky!” Each cow-shaped package of Jerome’s Jewlicious Judaic Jerky has been thoroughly inspected and certified by a CKJI – a Certified Kosher Jerky Inspector who once was a cowboy and before that a butcher. And when you think of it, what puts a bigger smile on the face of a hungry young child coming home from school than a heaping hunk of hearty Hebraic hide? Remember – “If it’s not Jerome’s, it’s not jerky.”
No, this is not members of the tribe who’ve stayed on the tanning bed too long. It’s simply America’s favorite breakfast juice, from organic oranges grown and picked by Jews for Jews. After it’s been certified kosher, the juice is poured into containers in the shapes and images of the characters from the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” The gallon-size Tevye container is anticipated to be the most popular. But you’ll also enjoy serving and pouring your Orange Jews from the Golde, Tzeitel, Hodel, Chava, Yente, Perchik and Lazar Wolf containers. Orange Jews – “There’s a little bit of l’chaim in every glass.”
We all love artichokes. We all love fortune cookies. It was only a question of time until some enterprising person created a fortune artichoke – the Fortune-choke. Inside each kosher artichoke is a Jewish fortune. Qvell to such life-enhancing fortunes as, “Your daughter’s about to marry a doctor,” “You should only live in comfort and security for the remainder of your days,” and “Don’t worry – the doctor will let you know it’s benign.” Three deluxe Fortune-choke versions will be available: 1) The artichokes are dyed the blue and white colors of the Israeli flag. 2) A Marc Chagall painting will be silk-screened onto the artichoke. 3) A sound chip will be inserted so that when you cut into the heart, it will play selections from “Yentl.”
Jewcy Fruit Jewing Gum
Jewcy Fruit Jewing Gum
The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company introduces the first Semitic companion to its mega-popular Juicy Fruit Gum – Jewcy Fruit Jewing Gum, the world’s first kosher gum. Just as the old Bazooka Bubble Gum used to have little comics included inside its wrapping, Jewcy Fruit will contain Torah commentary by the great Jewish sages of history. Finally, with every chew, you can feel confident that you’re chewing a gum that’s been prepared in a strictly kosher fashion. Available in a variety of flavors, including pastrami, kugel, lox, matzhoh brei, and herring in cream sauce. Also available – a silent version for chewing in shul.
McDicksteins Fast Food Restaurant
It’s only a question of time until an international kosher fast food restaurant chain appears. Most likely, it will pattern itself after the current fast food king, McDonalds. At McDicksteins, you’ll no doubt be able to order a Big Moishe burger with non-dairy cheese, a KinderMeal with accompanying tchatchke, some crispy Jerusalem Fries, and a Seltzer Shake. Ad slogan: “I’m qvellin’ it!”
We all love ravioli. Well, most of us do. There is this one guy in North Dakota who could take it or leave it, but he’s always been a contrarian. But I digress. Jewvioli, the world’s first certified kosher ravioli, has not only been inspected by the kosher certifiers, but also has scenes from Moses’ parting of the Red Sea printed onto each ravioli square. And the sauce? Put it this way – there’ll be no qvetching after tasting the first mouthwatering bite of the Next Year in Jerusalem-covered Jewvioli. And if there is? Don’t give them any fortune-chokes until they finish their Jewvioli.