Like a stealth plane that can fly virtually undetected, the Kosher food market has carved a significant niche for itself with little or no fanfare. So exactly, what is Kosher, how big is the market and what are the implications for food brands? This week I had the pleasure to interview Mr. Kalman Emanuel – MK to answer these questions and to understand the importance of it to society as a whole.
What is Kosher?
Kosher is much more than responsible food preparation. “Kosher refers to a set of intricate biblicals that detail the
types of food that a Jewish person may eat and the way in which it may lawbe prepared”. Mr. Kalman Emanuel.
For the product to be certified Kosher, all ingredients in every product and the process of preparing the product must be certified for Kosher compliance. Health and cleanliness are hallmarks of Kosher food.
Kosher Food Sector
The demand for Kosher-certified products has increased dramatically and is currently one of the hottest food trends globally. The global Kosher market was projected to top $300B by 2013, fostered by an annual growth rate of 15%. In Canada, Kalman Emanuel estimates the Kosher market is an over $2.8B sector, which represents an increase of up to 12% over two year period. Within North America supermarkets (Canada / US), Kosher products are becoming increasingly available and currently represent up to one-third of all products offered by supermarket chains.
Market Appeal for Kosher Products
There is strong market appeal for Kosher products. The top reason why Kosher is being purchased is due to the perceived quality of the product and for health reasons, and not for Kosher dietary restrictions. Chart 1 outlines the Top 5 reasons consumers purchase Kosher products.
Reasons For Buying Kosher
Research suggests consumers not of the Jewish or Muslim faith are fuelling the demand for Kosher products. A new report by a leading “consumer intelligence” firm has found that as many as 28% of Americans buy Kosher food products because they are Kosher. Chart 2 outlines the Kosher consumer and reveals the theory that Kosher products are only consumed by the Jewish / Muslim community are misguided.
The demand for Kosher products is solidified by Kosher Fest, the world’s largest and most attended Kosher-certified products trade show in which more than 6,000 industry professionals are expected to attend, and more than 325 exhibitors will feature Kosher-certified products and services for the Kosher market.
Kosher Certification Process
The business of becoming Kosher remains tightly regulated by certification agencies. MK (www.mk.ca) has established themselves in Canada as the leading player responsible for the certification of Kosher food products. As per Kalman Emanuel, “Certifying a product Kosher tells the consumer that the owners of the product or establishment take their customers very seriously. The bottom line is that the company’s growth is upgraded and enhanced, with everyone – owners and purchaser’s benefiting”. Those firms that receive MK’s certification are allowed to feature the MK logo on their packaging.
The Kosher food market has yet to become mainstream, and remains a niche category. The limited supply of Kosher products in retail outlets also provides notable opportunity for ingredient suppliers and manufacturers of Kosher products. Kosher products appear to be a lucrative market opportunity; particularly as Kosher consumers spend significantly more (50%) than average consumers.
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