Local food exporters urged to take advantage of growing Jewish food market

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MANILA -– Filipino food exporters are encouraged to enter the kosher or Jewish food businesses to further increase their revenues because of the growing kosher market.

 

According to PS Kosher Food Works Inc., global demand on kosher-certified products is growing at 12 to 15 percent a year.

This can be translated to a total of .5 billion to .6 billion sales per year.

United States alone has 11.5 million kosher consumers with sales reaching to .65 billion and comprises 30 percent of the total kosher market.

Aside from US, large markets for kosher products are from France, United Kingdom, Russia and Israel.

Meanwhile, Joel Weinberg, President of International Kosher Inspector, said that even non-Jewish consumes kosher food because of its health and safety validation.

Kosher standards consider animal which chew the cud and has a cloven hoof as ritually clean animal. Cattle, sheep, goat, and deer meat products are considered as kosher food while horses, donkeys, camels and pigs are non-kosher.

Kosher seafood includes sardine, tuna, mackerel, carp, salmon, red snapper (maya-maya), anchovy (dilis) and herring (tawilis) among others while chicken, duck, goose and turkey are some of kosher-approved poultries.

Weinberg also identified local food products that have huge potential in the kosher market such as coconut-based products particularly the coconut sap vinegar, dried fruits, fruit jams and fish products.

Filipino food exporters should take advantage of producing tawilis in the kosher market since this fish can only be found in Taal Lake.

"Usage and production are low. The Philippines has a lot of room to grow and has a lot of opportunities," he said.

Kosher products, like halal foods (foods that Muslims are allowed to eat under Islamic law) go through inspections and needs certification to ensure that it passed the Jewish rules.

But Weinberg said that the cost of being kosher is not significant since its market is looking on products being a kosher-certified.

”It is hard to get into the market if you have to introduce a product which is not yet known. But if you make the product kosher, it makes it interesting to consumers who can afford to buy a specialty product," he explained.

He added that it is also favorable for Filipino exporters to get into the kosher market particularly in US since there is already established trade relation between the two countries.