by Sruly Meyer – COLlive
In a surprising announcement, the organizers of Kosherfest have decided to discontinue the annual trade show that has been a prominent fixture in the kosher food industry for over three decades.
Kosherfest, founded in 1989 by Menachem Lubinsky and Richard Levy, was a vital platform for manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers to explore the latest trends, innovations, and offerings in the kosher food industry.
Over the years, the event grew significantly in size and influence, establishing itself as the premier gathering in the kosher food industry. Exhibitors included manufacturers, beverage companies, specialty food producers, and kosher certification agencies.
The event showcased products and services, allowing attendees to sample, learn about, and engage with various kosher foods and related items.
However, the decision to discontinue Kosherfest, according to organizers, “was the evolving role of supermarket category managers and the shifting dynamics within major supermarket chains.”
They added, “With the elimination of dedicated kosher buyers in many of these chains, exhibitors expressed concerns about the diminishing return on investment associated with participating in Kosherfest.”
Traditionally, specialized kosher buyers oversaw the kosher food category within supermarket chains. But as responsibilities shifted to grocery buyers who handle a wider range of products, their attendance at food events expanded beyond exclusive kosher showcases.
This change in buyer responsibilities posed a challenge for Kosherfest, which focused solely on certified kosher products, in attracting the attention of these grocery buyers. “Kosherfest has run its course,” organizers said on Wednesday.
In light of this announcement, the organizers have assured exhibitors that all exhibit space deposits received will be promptly refunded within the next 2-3 weeks, demonstrating their commitment to a fair resolution for those who invested in participating in Kosherfest.
Although Kosherfest will no longer serve as the annual gathering place for kosher food enthusiasts, its legacy will be remembered as a platform that fostered innovation, facilitated business relationships, and celebrated the rich diversity of kosher cuisine.
Even with Kosherfest ending, other shows are still on the kosher food show scene. Kosher Food and Wine Experience (KFWE), KosherPalooza, and JFood.
KosherPalooza, an event created and hosted by Fleishigs Magazine and partnered with Pw Wow. KosherPalooza aims to provide a unique and interactive experience for consumers and industry players. This is a one-day event held on June 28th. It offers a fresh approach to kosher food exhibitions by combining consumer-focused elements with opportunities to attract buyers from significant players in the industry.
The event will have interactive panels, cooking demonstrations, and direct-to-consumer options, allowing attendees to engage with exhibitors, sample diverse kosher food products, and gain insights into culinary techniques and emerging food trends
The other new show is JFood, which will be on June 13th and 14th. This two-day extravaganza brings together food enthusiasts, industry professionals, and exhibitors from the kosher food industry. Attendees can discover, sample, and learn about kosher food products from exhibitors representing multiple food industry sectors. Interactive panels and cooking demonstrations led by renowned chefs and experts provide valuable insights into culinary techniques, kosher certification, and emerging food trends.
Finally, The Kosher Food and Wine Show has been around for a little longer and has events in multiple cities like Miami, L.A., and of course New York. It brings together the best of kosher food and wine in a vibrant and interactive setting. With tasting sessions, the Kosher Food and Wine Show creates an environment to discover new flavors and pairings.