A January 2014 Australian Food News article reported that Kosher was the most sought after description on new products in the USA, and the Australian market has recently followed suit.
In addition, a Bloomberg report cited Kosher certification as the mechanism that Chinese and Indian food manufacturers are using to allay consumer concerns vis-à-vis food safety.
Due to the rigorous auditing methods and the exclusion of the majority of animal derived ingredients, the consumer market largely views Kosher products as being safer and of a more transparent nature in terms of its ingredients.
In a consumer survey of adults in the USA who purchase kosher food, Mintel (2009) found that the number one reason people buy kosher is for food quality (62%), with the second and third top responses being ‘general healthfulness’ (51%) and ‘food safety’ (34%) respectively. This contrasts sharply to the just 14% of respondents who state that they purchase Kosher food due to an observance of the Kosher religious rules. Finally, roughly 10% look towards Kosher product lines because they follow other religious requirements which share similarities with Kosher laws.
Other significant target markets are those of the Muslim faith, due to the synergies between Halal and Kosher, as well as the vegetarian market which encompass Buddhists and Hindus. 16% of American consumers looking for Halal products end up purchasing Kosher.
Choice Magazine has noted that without an independent accreditation such as Kosher certification, the consumer remains unaware of many additives or processing aids in the manufacture of goods. And unlike most other endorsements, a product is certified as being Kosher only if it meets all ingredient and production criteria and has undergone a site audit.
The Australian Jewish community numbers approximately 150.000 people or 30.000 households strong and located mainly in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and other capital cities. Estimates place the kosher spend at $400m+ annually on groceries.
Kosher caterers produce 500.000 meals annually.
If consumer from other groups who buy Kosher are included, the potential number families that avail themselves of Kosher food approaches 250,000.
Approximately 600 companies in Australia produce kosher certified foods. Kosher Australia lists 8000 retail products in its guide, which are available in Australian supermarkets. More products are certified each year (an average growth of 30-50 companies per year) as
Kosher is widely recognised as a 'hot' niche. The average Kosher consumer spends more than 40% more on groceries items that their non-Kosher counterparts.
The major supermarket chains - Coles and Woolworths, and to a lesser extent IGA, Costco and Aldi - have employed a number of strategies to access the Kosher market.
More than 50 Coles and Woolworth outlets around Australia have dedicated Kosher sections. Several supermarkets sell freshly prepared kosher meats and baked goods from their inhouse delis and bakeries.
The average Australian national supermarket stocks approximately 2500 kosher SKUs on their shelves, excluding the products in the specialty kosher sections. To improve the shopping experience for kosher consumers, national and local supermarkets have implemented kosher shelf marking systems in over 15 stores in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
Melbourne, Sydney and Perth are home to a number of kosher speciality stores and distributors dedicated to kosher products.