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      Nearly Half of US Supermarket Foods Are Kosher

      Want to improve your mental focus and still keep kosher? A “think drink” is one of 500 new kosher products in the $200 billion kosher food market
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 10/29/2009, 1:59 PM / Last Update: 11/4/2009, 8:20 AM

      KosherFest

      The annual KosherFest expo served up a full menu, from kosher popcorn to pomegranate mints, at its recent exhibition and trade fair in New Jersey . For those who want to improve mental focus, a kosher Brain Tonic, “the only non-caffeinated think drink’” was introduced there as well.

       

      The burgeoning kosher food industry now accounts for 40 percent of food products on American supermarket shelves, according to the Mintel research organization.

       

      Popcorn and chili sauce are also among the 120,000 kosher items on American supermarket shelves as the dominance of kosher food in the American marketplace grows. "Sales of kosher foods in the past year have increased by double digits, significantly higher than the U.S. food market in general,” according to Menachem Lubinsky, founder of KosherFest.

       

      Orthodox Union (OU) official Rabbi Eliyahu Safran noted that producers of beverages, baking and organic foods are leading the increased requests for certification that their products are produced according to strict Jewish dietary laws.

       

      The KosherFest show offered visitors free culinary demonstrations by the only kosher U.S. culinary school. The fair debuted exotic products such as kosher bovine that is “parve,” meaning it is made without milk or meat ingredients, beef jerky in four flavors, cookies for sufferers of allergies, gluten-free challah rolls, spicy salmon stuffing and none other than frozen salmon burgers.

       

      Industry officials estimate that more than 10 million Americans, approximately double the number of Jews in the country, buy kosher items.