Kosher Shoppers Abandon “One Stop” Concept


kosher-foodA Flatbush mother of five says that she shops in at least four stores each week. She says that she changed her shopping habits two years ago from shopping everything she needed in one store. In interviews with shoppers and retailers, it is becoming apparent that many kosher shoppers are returning to the days of dividing their shopping chores, only this time it is not necessarily the baker and the butcher but the Club store and large independent kosher stores that offer special discounts on specific items.

Even shoppers who have made the move to such high end stores as Pomegranate are also shopping other stores. The recession has changed the shopping patterns of shoppers everywhere.

A joint study released by Deloitte and Harrison Group found that 92% of people surveyed have changed their grocery shopping behavior in the last two years. In particular, 89% said they have become more resourceful while 84% say they are more precise when they shop.

Some kosher shoppers say that they are being more resourceful in planning their shopping, buying many items in bulk at a Club store and taking advantage of specials at such discount stores as the Kollel store. The Club stores have added many kosher products in the past two years.

One retailer told Kosher Today that the new shopping habits of kosher consumers has “created a price war where shoppers are actually comparing prices between stores.” He said that he knows that one of his shoppers has her husband shop at two different stores while she buys specific discounted items at his store. While the retailer hoped that these new shopping trends were recession related, he in the end was not so sure.

For manufacturers, the most disturbing aspect of new shopper surveys is that American shoppers are for the first time preferring generic items that are cheaper rather than brands.


{ Newscenter}


  1. where does the cost of gas come in? By saving a few cents on an item in a few different stores, how much does it cost on gas to get to each store??

  2. The recession has hit people badly. I think people are starting to ear kosher chalav stam. What is to be done when chalav yisroel is three times the price?

  3. Three times the price? Not exactly. You are dreaming. I just bought a half gallon of milk in lakewood for 1.79. You aren’t getting cheaper buying the cholov stam milk.

  4. I tend to be a careless consumer in terms of seeking the absolute best price. I shop for convenience. I find many of the “best” kosher stores in Brooklyn don’t always have what I am looking for in stock. And trust me–I am not talking unusual items like organic Phesant (is phesant kosher?)or Cholav Yisroel Saffron Ice Cream, neither of which I am certain exist anywhere! As the previous posted implied, increasingly stringent kashrut standards results in higher prices. Large Orthdox families can’t afford many food items anymore–especially meat. I wonder how many have been forced to drop their kashrut standards down a notch or two (they just don’t announce it.) Afterall, consuming kosher but not glatt is not really sinful. Many well respected rabbis have stated that most hard cheeses are kosher. So not eating Cholav Yisroel is also not sinning.

    I am surprised that no Orthodox organization has made any effort to take control of the kosher industry in terms of outrageous pricing. Perhaps the Conservatives were onto something with their Ethical certification. The next step would be to require kosher producers and stores to charge ethically fair prices. Kosher meat does not have to cost two, three, four or more times the same non-kosher cut does. Someone is getting really rich on kosher food.

  5. #7 – there has for a long time been a group (I forget the name) of rabbis who put pressure on the stores not to raise Pesach food prices sky-high, and it has made a difference.

    We need one for regular kosher, too. After all, when the high cost of being observant hits even the secular media, it’s time to realize there is a problem.

    And this is in addition to the tuition crisis, but that’s a story of its own.

  6. You are correct. Matzav is in love with Pomagranate! They have been trying with free infomercials to get them as advertizers but it hasn’t worked. It’s time for them to grow up already and try to at least “act” mature.