Earlier this year when Manischewitz, the world’s largest kosher food company opened up its spanking new bakery in New Jersey, it rolled out “the world’s largest matzo” at a press event. While most non-Jewish people probably don’t eat matzo, gefilte fish and other uniquely Jewish foods, every store probably has some kosher foods on its shelves. The Manishchewitz brand “is the face of American kosher food,” according to the Kosher Critic who is in real life, Zechariah Mehler. The brand in limited or in large amounts finds its way into grocery shelves in even the littlest hamlets in America, he asserts. It’s the kosher equivalent of Coca Cola. But as a brand it was seen as old and outdated rather than new or exciting. Sales of some of its standard products were flagging. However, anything old can be new again, and to that end the Manischewitz brand has changed its game.
Everything from revamping traditional products to engaging the public in social media circles is on the table, so to speak. Its snack crackers now come in barbecue and sea salt flavors. Many may like the blandness of gefilte fish, which is primarily minced fish. But now they’re adding spices such as cumin, which were not standard in Jewish commercial kitchens. This last one thanks to their CEO’s Moroccan heritage. His mission is to make the Jewish holiday table a more fun experience while also expanding the idea of kosher foods beyond religious affiliation and into the mainstream. Chocolate covered matzo is among products aimed at non-Jewish consumers. Beyond the redesign of foods and packaging, Manischewitz is also Facebooking and Tweeting. And some day, it may even have a Cheech and Chong video about brownies – but they would be kosher.
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