Call after email after message (Let’s not forget the many platforms we can get them on these days!) I received countless questions regarding 2019 Kosherfest in New Jersey and it all boiled down to the same question…Is it worth it?
The excitement would build up this time of year for the largest kosher food show known as “The Big Kiddush” within the industry in the US to take place. I would devote my day to post live feeds, be front and center on a variety of social media platforms.
Walking up and down the vast aisles filled with the largest kosher food brands and products on the market, vying for your attention, throwing themselves at you to be noticed. Everyone needed to hock that they went to Kosherfest. It was all the buzz. But now the new buzz is, “Is it worth it?” WOW! I couldn’t believe there were so many who felt the same as I did this year.
This year there are over 100 new companies, many small start-ups shall we call them whom most even work or started out of their home kitchens which may have had questionable supervisions and health & foods codes at times, but now consider themselves ready for the big show. The emes (translated in English as truth) is, some of these companies may be ready, some may feel ready, but for most, I feel bad as they spend thousands of dollars to be seen, and to be picked up by a big time distributor. Truth be told, many might get some small one time orders and fade into the darkness of so many product startups with lofty dreams just spending thousands of dollars with no returns to show for it. That’s the sad truth of the industry. To make matters even more challenging for these startups and to take away from some of the big hype of Kosherfest, some of the big time names are not even interested to be seen. Some of the big time names who aren’t even showing up are Norman’s, Leiber’s, Paskez, Larome Bakery, Streits, Klein’s Ice Cream, Jack’s Sausages, Osem and Royal Wine/Kayco. Now, you’ll see Manishewitz who is now under the Royal Wine/Kayco umbrella there, but that’s due to a pre-paid booth.
It’s tough to see money go to waste, and for some is a hefty investment of thousands. But if you were contemplating attending, I’d sit this one out.
Links to previous years videos from KosherFest: