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PORTLAND, Maine -- Kosherfest 2005, the international kosher food trade show, attracted more than 6,100 retail and foodservice buyers, manufacturers, and distributors from 36 countries, said the show's organizers, Diversified Business Communications and Lubicom Marketing Consulting, yesterday. The show was held Nov. 15-16.
"This year's show attracted the highest number of buyers in the 17-year history of Kosherfest," said Menachem Lubinsky, the show's co-producer, in a statement, "top buyers from nationwide grocery, warehouse/wholesale, discount chains, and restaurants attended, as well as buyers from the U.S. military."
Trade representatives also had the opportunity to visit the International Hotel Motel and Restaurant Show (IHMRS), co-located with Kosherfest at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.
"This year's show was highly successful for several reasons," added Lubinsky. "The show provided expert analysis and comment on important kosher food trend information; it showcased a great variety of products from all over the world; and represented key categories that consumers want: ethnic, upscale, gourmet, convenience, and healthy."
The variety at Kosherfest included more gourmet baked goods, higher-end desserts and confectionery, a greater emphasis on health and convenience, and an impressive array of new products by some of the well-known and lesser-known kosher companies.
Kosher food is a $14.6 billion industry that is growing at a rate of 15 percent. The industry boasts more than 86,000 kosher certified products to-date.
Marcia Mogelonsky, who heads up kosher consumer research for the Mintel Organization and was a keynote speaker at Kosherfest 2005, noted, "Younger and lower-income consumers are driving the growth of kosher. That's good news for marketers of kosher food. The strong numbers indicate that kosher will not fade away with older traditional consumers, but will continue to grow with the new and emerging younger group."
Kosherfest 2006 will take place Nov. 14-15 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, and will coincide with the East Coast versions of Expo Comida Latina and All Asia Food Expo.