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Christians, Muslims, Jews and Atheists alike are helping fuel the robust market for kosher foods, according to a new report by market research firm Mintel. In a consumer survey of adults who purchase kosher food, Mintel found that the number one reason people buy kosher is for food quality (62%).
The second most common reason people say they purchase kosher food is “general healthfulness” (51%) and the third is food safety (34%). This contrasts sharply to the just 14% of respondents who say they purchase kosher food because they follow kosher religious rules. Another 10% buy kosher because they follow some other religious rules with eating restrictions similar to kosher.
“Kosher food has gained the reputation of being more carefully produced and thoroughly inspected than non-kosher food,” comments Marcia Mogelonsky, Ph. D, senior analyst at Mintel. “With recent food safety scares causing people to rethink even the most familiar food products, we can expect more adults to turn to kosher food as a way to ensure food safety and quality.”
The market for kosher food is strong and growing in the US, reports Mintel. Sales of kosher foods totaled $12.5 billion in 2008, a 64% increase since 2003. Furthermore, Mintel’s recent survey of 2,500 adults revealed that 13% say they intentionally purchase kosher foods.The Mintel Global New Products Database, which tracks new product launches, reports that over one in four (28%) new food and drink products launched in the US during 2008 bore a kosher symbol. Kosher has been the top individual claim on new food and drink in the US since 2005.
Sales include kosher-certified prepared foods and kosher meat, dairy and fish. They do not include “intrinsically kosher” products like unprocessed fruits and vegetables.