Fancy Food Roundtable: Retailers Should Kosher Certify Store Brands

Supermarkets like Price Chopper, Trader Joe’s and Costco are successfully catering to kosher shoppers with their corporate brands, while Whole Foods, with its 365 Everyday Value brand, leaves a lot to be desired.

NEW YORK — Supermarkets like Price Chopper, Trader Joe’s and Costco are successfully catering to kosher shoppers with their corporate brands, while Whole Foods, with its 365 Everyday Value brand, leaves a lot to be desired.

That was the consensus of kosher distributors and manufacturer participants in a roundtable discussion here yesterday at the National Association of Specialty Food Trade’s Fancy Food Show.

Price Chopper, Schenectady, N.Y., has its store-brand products certified kosher wherever possible, noted Marty Stein, an account manager for distributor Tree of Life. The retailer also advertises in local Jewish papers and cites the relevant certification body beside kosher products in its ad circulars.

Indicating whether an item is certified through the Orthodox Union or other kosher certification body is important, since some consumers will only eat foods certified by certain bodies, Stein told SN.

While most Trader Joe’s and Costco’s Kirkland Signature brands are certified kosher, about nine in 10 items in Whole Foods’ 365 Everday Value line are not, noted Susan Berlin of Susan Sez it with Cake. Others agreed that the retailer is lacking in the store-brand kosher department.

“I’ll take a look at a beautiful 365 Everday flavored oil and 90% of the time I’ll turn it around, can’t find the kosher symbol, and it’s back to the shelf,” Berlin said.

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