Over the past twenty-five years, the demand for kosher certified products has increased dramatically. Specifically, the kosher market has been growing at an annual rate of 15% for the past several years. In order to meet this demand, companies world-wide seek kosher certification in order to expand their existing market and enhance sales strategies. Many of these companies are looking to Houston Kashruth Association (HKA) kosher certification and are enjoying the marketing privileges this certification offers. The HKA symbol can open new marketing avenues never before accessed.
According to data compiled in the year 2003 by Integrated Marketing Communications, Inc.:
The kosher market abounds with opportunities for the food industry. HKA urges you to explore how products bearing the kosher symbol can be a part of your sales and marketing strategy. Request an application and take advantage of our no-obligation feasibility study which is offered free of charge. The HKA staff welcomes the opportunity to serve you.
The Mark of Quality Assurance
The kosher symbol on a label, represents more than a product that conforms to religious standards. It is viewed as a mark of quality and an added safeguard, tantamount to the famous “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.” In fact, according to a 2001 Integrated Marketing Communications survey, consumers who believe kosher is better, comprise 25% of the market. Without any of the dietary concerns mentioned above, they nevertheless look for a kosher symbol as additional reassurance when buying food.
Gone are the days when food was purchased indiscriminately, merely on the basis of taste or eye appeal. Consumers examine the ingredient panel of products, as well as the nutritional information prominently displayed on the label. They are extremely concerned about the food they eat, questioning manufacturing procedures, as well as the choice of ingredients used. The kosher symbol, with the monitoring and care it represents, ensures the highest quality standards to the largest and most diverse consumer audience.
Who Buys Kosher?
Millions of people throughout the world limit their food consumption, and seek out the kosher symbol to insure that their preferences are being addressed. According to market studies, the appeal of kosher foods transcends the interest of any one specific ethnic group. Consumers of kosher foods include Jews, Muslims and members of other religious denominations, vegetarians, those with lactose intolerance, and those who believe that “kosher is better.”
The Jewish Market
Jewish consumers comprise approximately 45% of the kosher market. Integrated Marketing Communications reports that approximately 2.5 million Jews consume kosher food products.
The Islamic Community
Millions of Muslims throughout the world follow a dietary regimen similar to the kosher code. Since they recognize that food products bearing a kosher symbol conform to the requirements of “Halal,” foods certified as kosher have a broad appeal to Muslims. The countless inquiries from the Islamic community attest to the attention given to the kosher symbol on packaging of a broad variety of products. In fact, kosher certified products have penetrated this community, to the point that currently Muslims constitute approximately 20% of the “kosher” market.
Other Religious Denominations
Seventh Day Adventists, and other Christian sects have dietary restrictions similar to Judaism. Pork, for example, is not permitted to Seventh Day Adventists. A kosher symbol on food products guarantees that their dietary concerns have been met, and that the food is permissible for their use.
Lactose intolerance afflicts millions of people. Moreover, people with allergies to dairy products may have a life threatening reaction to the most minute consumption of milk derived ingredients. Kosher law requires complete segregation between meat and milk. Thus, products containing a dairy ingredient must bear the kosher symbol with the letter “D.” The absence of the letter “D,” or the use of the “Pareve” designation (a Hebrew word meaning “neutral”), ensures that the product is free of any dairy presence. Lactose intolerant consumers, as well as those allergic to milk, search for the kosher symbol because it is their warranty that the product has never come into contact with any dairy derivative.
Vegetarians, due to a variety of considerations, exclude meat, poultry and fish from their diet. The HKA symbol, or the HKA symbol in conjunction with the “Pareve” designation, guarantees that the product contains no meat, dairy, or poultry derivative and therefore is suitable for vegetarian use.
Why HKA Certification
The Houston Kashruth Association (HKA) is a non-profit organization offering kosher supervision and certification (kosher approval for products) around the world throughout the year, including Passover supervision. Based in Houston, Texas, the HKA has provided quality kosher supervision to food establishments and manufacturers for more than 25 years.
HKA Certification is a guarantee that food products and ingredients meet all kosher requirements. The HKA symbol has U.S. recognition and acceptability, with its certified HKA products being sold across the country. Certification authorizes the manufacturer to place the HKA emblem on the product packaging to demonstrate its kosher status.
The HKA is a member of the Association of Kashrut Organizations (AKO). It is recognized by the Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc) and has an excellent working relationship with national kashrut agencies, like the OU, Star-K, Kof-K, Circle K and others. To find out more, submit the easy online application form.