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Kosher Cooking

Retailers looking to make inroads with kosher food shoppers should address their culinary needs with cooking classes and recipes. That was the big takeaway from a roundtable discussion this morning at the Fancy Food Show.

The consensus was that even upscale retailers who offer classes representing a range of culinary styles and ethnic cuisines neglect this profitable group. Americans spend $14.6 billion a year on kosher foods.

True the availability of kosher ingredients and foods—which grew 15% last year—allows shoppers to adapt recipes they see on TV or in magazines to their dietary needs. But it seems many would remain loyal to a retailer who created classes and recipes just for them.

A woman named Melissa who was part of this morning's group seemed to think so. She believes so much in the need for kosher cooking programs that she's working to get her own show, called "Kosher Unleashed," on air. She hopes the show will dispel kosher myths, include a taste of history and of course great kosher foods.

The Food Network doesn't feature any kosher cooking programs but it's not a good fit since it doesn't allow mention of brand-specific products. A problem since shoppers who keep kosher depend heavily on certification symbols featured on labels.