The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 24 February 2007 / 6 Adar I 5767

Who Buys Kosher?

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Does the yearly increase of 10-15% in sales of kosher products in the U.S. indicate a sharp rise in the number of Jews keeping kosher?

This is what was hoped when Cannondale Associates released the results of a survey that showed that this growth in kosher popularity had brought the dollar value of the American kosher food market to the whopping sum of $10 billion.

It turns out, however, that this optimism must be tempered. Only 21% of Americans who buy kosher foods, says the report, do so for religious reasons. Non-Jews buy kosher food products because they assume that they are healthier than others. This may explain why 70% of the 10.5 million kosher food consumers in the U.S. are in the health-conscious 18-35 age bracket.

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