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    Quality Trumps Religion for 3 in 5 Kosher Food Buyers: Mintel

    Health and safety are also key drivers of kosher food purchases.

    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, the Chicago-based research firm found that the No. 1 reason people buy kosher is for food quality (62 percent).

    "General healthfulness" (51 percent) was cited as the second most common reason people purchase kosher food, while food safety rated third among 34 percent of respondents, in sharp contrast to the 14 percent of respondents who say they purchase kosher food because they follow kosher religious rules.

    "Kosher food has gained the reputation of being more carefully produced and thoroughly inspected than non-kosher food," said Marcia Mogelonsky, 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 United States, reports Mintel. Sales of kosher foods totaled $12.5 billion in 2008, a 64 percent increase since 2003. Furthermore, Mintel's recent survey of 2,500 adults revealed that 13 percent say they intentionally purchase kosher foods.

    The Mintel Global New Products Database, which tracks new product launches, reports that over one in four (28 percent) new food and drink products launched in the U.S. during 2008 bore a kosher symbol. Kosher has been the top individual claim on new food and drink in the United States since 2005.

    For more information, visit www.mintel.com.

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