Kosherfest is the world’s largest and most well attended kosher-certified products trade show. The 30th annual event was held this year on November 13 and 14 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. Kosherfest attracts chain supermarkets, food-service establishments, major kosher labels and every kind of kosher decision maker. More than 6,000 industry professionals attended, and more than 325 exhibitors featured kosher-certified products and services for the kosher market.
At Kosherfest, vendors look for distributors for their products and present new product lines. New product winners for 2018 included Tropic Max for its plantain croutons, Koko Food for its Korean sauces and Elegant Desserts for its jumbo, elegant pops. Other new products included Aaron’s new pepperoni, Tuscanini’s new tomato paste in a squeezable tube and Rambam Wine’s new Rubino Rose.
Elan Kornblum, known as “The Restaurant Guy,” and president and publisher of Great Kosher Restaurants, has been exhibiting at Kosherfest for 13 years. “I am there to see the restaurant owners, speak to my readers, see my friends and colleagues and find out what’s going on in the industry. Further, I enjoy seeing everyone and hosting a panel discussion on the trends and state of kosher restaurants.” He was most impressed by all the new organic and gluten-free products as well as the Coco Jolies chocolate. Most importantly, Kornblum noted that a trade show like this “shows that there is a need and a want, and that kosher keeps growing.”
The Kosher Dinner Lady, Rachel Berger of New Rochelle, also attended this year. “Now that I own my own bakery business, I was looking for new products and packaging,” explained Berger. Berger was most excited about Betterine, a new pareve margarine product made out of mostly coconut oil. “Every year there are new products and new options for people who keep kosher. I was especially impressed with companies from Sri Lanka and Costa Rica, who are there looking for distributors. It is so nice to have such variety and availability,” she said.
New Rochelle residents Sarra Lorbert and Mickey Nyer also attended to generate ideas on new products and creative packaging for their community’s mishloach manot project. Both Lorbert and Nyer were most impressed by the black truffle pate, Mom Pops and new French pastries. Lorbert noted, “Kosherfest shows that the kosher industry is making new strides in being creative and bringing things to the kosher world.” Nyer added, “The kosher scene is constantly evolving...they bring their A games to this event and it’s amazing.”
Kosher food and wine consultant and instagrammer @kosher_connoisseur Leah Jaroslawicz of New Rochelle attended as well. “I love to see new products, see vendors and colleagues I’ve met in the past and meet new people. It is also great to see how far newer companies have come since they started. A personal favorite part of Kosherfest is meeting the people behind the wines. I met Vered from Tura, the winemaker family from 5 Stones and the winemaker and owner of Mony Wines.” Jaroslawicz was impressed by the truffle display, declaring that “the sophistication of the kosher food industry is growing exponentially.”
Riverdale resident Tamar Bezborodko of Iron Chef Products has attended Kosherfest five times over the past eight years. “We attend because it’s a great way to introduce new products and to meet with new and existing kosher customers. We have also met distributors that aren’t specific to the kosher market. Iron Chef Products unveiled a Mediterranean line of sauces (shakshuka, shawarma and tagine), in addition to new lines of pasta sauces and hot sauces,” she said. The most enjoyable part of the show,” Bezborodko added, “is how the management makes the show easy to set up. Two days is a perfect length for this type of trade show.”
Similar to other attendees, Bezborodko summarized Kosherfest’s impact on the kosher food industry: “It demonstrates that the kosher industry has kept pace with the food-forward trends in the larger non-kosher market.”
By Judy Berger