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November 1, 2010 3:31 pm

Kosherfest 2010

avatar by Maxine Dovere

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Kosherfest 2010 filled the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey, with thousands of producers, venders, buyers and retailers of kosher products during its two day run, October 26 and 27. With more than twelve million consumers of kosher products in the United States alone, and more than ten thousand companies producing over 125,000 kosher certified products, KOSHERFEST  is Big Business – $305,000,000,000 worth of big business. In Kosher Nation, Sue Fishkoff’s says “one third to one half of the food for sale in the typical American supermarket is certified kosher.”

Since the first Kosherfest in 1987, kosher has become a very mainstream designation.  Menachem Lubinsky, founder and co-producer of the largest, longest running uniquely kosher food trade show, says. Gourmet and specialty food products including gluten-free, spelt, and organic and natural foods are the new stars of the kosher food world.

350 exhibitors participated in Kosherfest 2010.   New Product introductions by large and small companies were abundant. The Manischewitz Company presented its “healthier” product with its new “L’Chaim – To Life!” label informing consumers about the “natural” aspects of its products. Kolatin Real Kosher Gelatin, Cherry Herring presented a new Herring Coffee Liqueur, the always robust Royal Wines (Kedem) pavilion attracted many visitors, a roly poly red Jelly Belly character presented the classic, kosher treat, the aromas of LaRomme’s on site bakery were delicious, Mehadrin Poultry introduced its convenience product, and special pavilions featuring Israeli and Canadian products highlighted the event.

How could the People of the Book conduct an event without offering something to read? 2010 selections include Joan Nathan’s Quiches, Kugels & Couscous(Knopf), Sue Fiskoff’s  Kosher Nation, Gil Marks The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, The History of Jewish Food, Paula Shoyern The Kosher Baker, and Susie Fishbein Kosher by Design: Cooking for the Next Generation debuted.

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The extraordinary range of kosher restaurant fare was showcased in the Kosherfest Appetizer competition.  Participants included Chef Salim Fysal of Dakshin Kosher Indian Bistro, Chef Pini Ben Ari of UCafe, Chef Albert Bijou of Heaven’s Kitchen and contest winner Chef Avram Weisman of The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts.

Marketing in the world of kosher food is modern, sophisticated and slick – using typical 2010 secular techniques.  Bottom line is that, like every business, the kosher market is consumer/bottom line driven.  Kosher supervision began in 1870, created under the counsel of a Lithuanian rabbi, Israel Rokeach.  H. J. Heinz Company introduction of a kosher pickle in 1923 marked the first major corporate kosher designation.    Kosherfest connects buyers and sellers worldwide, presenting the newest products and technology.

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