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Major Kosher Food News From 2019

(Courtesy of www.Koshertoday.com) Read below for the kosher foodie stories that made headlines this year.

American Dream to Include Kosher Food Court in Mega Mall

With such successful projects as Mall of America and the West Edmonton Mall in their portfolio, the Ghermezian family, originally immigrants from Iran, opened American Dream, a 90-acre mall and entertainment center. Orthodox Jews, the Ghermezian’s are doing their best to make the mega site a “kosher friendly” mall and attraction.

Seasons Makes a Comeback

The independent kosher supermarket chain Seasons was lifted out of bankruptcy and acquired by a group of investors, led by the Bistritzky family. The group won the bid from bankruptcy court to continue to operate six of the chain’s stores, including locations in Clifton and Lakewood, New Jersey; Queens; Long Island; Inwood; and Scarsdale. Stores in Baltimore and Manhattan were not included and a planned store in Cleveland was scrapped.

Bimbo, Like Stella Doro, Caved to Consumer Pressure and Continues Kosher Certification

Bimbo Bakeries USA, the largest baking company in the U.S., caved in to public pressure, which according to many by far exceeded the pressure on Stella Doro when it decided to end its pareve program and to go dairy. The company ultimately renegotiated its kosher certification with such major kashrut organizations like the Orthodox Union (OU). Bimbo Bakeries USA, a subsidiary of Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo, entered the U.S. bread market in 1997 and currently owns almost all of the baking brands in the U.S. They produce many well-known brands, including Sara Lee, Entenmann’s, Thomas, Freihofer’s and others.

More Than 90 New Food Exhibits Usher in Next Generation of Kosher at Kosherfest 2019

Kosherfest 2019 was a huge success with more than 90 new exhibitors and 1,000 new buyers. Many were startups or companies from all over the U.S. and indeed the world that are seeking store shelf space next to some of the established brands that are long-time exhibitors at Kosherfest.

Meatless Upscale Foods a Blessing in Disguise for Kosher, Confrere Hears

The meatless burger was one of the new foods that is part of the growing trend for healthier foods, according to Dr. Tim Ryan, president of the Culinary Institute of America, one of the world’s most prestigious culinary institutions. Ryan’s comments were not lost on the kosher food experts in the audience who participated in a session “Kosher…It’s Not Just for Jews Anymore,” with presentations by Menachem Lubinsky, founder of Kosherfest and Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of the Orthodox Union.

Kosher Community Responds to Jersey City Tragedy

The tragic shooting at the JC Kosher Supermarket and the murder of three innocent people, including the owner, Leah Mindel Ferencz, shook the kosher community. It was reminiscent of the tragic shooting of the Hyper Cacher market in Paris and the aftermath of Hurricane Imelda, which pounded Houston. According to the New York Met Council on Jewish Poverty, more than 10,000 lbs. of kosher food were delivered to Jersey City by the agency. Donations of food also came in from New York City-area stores and regional manufacturers. There are believed to be more than 100 chasidic families living in Jersey City. The small grocery store served the fledgling kosher community but was shuttered in recent days because it was largely destroyed and the subject of a crime scene investigation.

Kosher Takes Center Stage on Instagram, Reaches One Million Posts

During the week of June 11 the hashtag #kosher reached 1 million posts, a huge milestone for the kosher industry. Over the last couple of years, the kosher industry has systematically begun to appreciate the role of social media, according to Yarden Horwitz, a trend-spotting specialist previously with Google.

Manischewitz Acquired by Kayco

The B. Manischewitz Co, founded in 1888 by Rabbi Dov Ber Manischewitz, is once again family owned, this time by the well-known Herzog family of Kedem/Royal Wines. Manischewitz was acquired by Kayco for an undisclosed price after years of revolving corporate ownership.

Latest Empire Sale Had No Effect on Kosher Poultry Industry

Empire Kosher was part of an $80 million sale by Hain Pure Protein Corp. to Aterian Investment Partners. In 2015, The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. said it had paid $57.6 million for the remaining 80% of EK Holdings, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Empire Kosher Poultry. Estimates are that Empire slaughters an average of 80,000-85,000 chickens per day with annual sales of about $86 million. Empire remains the largest producer of kosher chicken and turkey in the U.S.

Record Number of Kosher Travelers Take to Skies, Roads This Summer

Kosher travel internationally continues to pick up steam with travel experts noting that 2019 was a record season. Some experts are saying that kosher travel has more than doubled from 2015. Europe remains a popular destination despite increased anti-Semitism. Poland and Italy, say the experts, remain extremely attractive with such cities as Prague, Budapest and Paris also faring well.

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