Of the approximate 53 million passengers that pass through JFK International Airport in New York, at least 1 million eat kosher. Such was the guess of a kosher caterer seeking to introduce kosher fare at the busy airport.
One leading travel agent guessed that the number was at least twice that given the fact that this is a group that is notorious for frequent flying particularly to destinations like Israel and Florida).
To be sure, there is some kosher food at the CIBO concessions at the Jet Blue Terminal at JFK but little else save for the many items with a kosher certification.
A number of sources told Kosher Today that kosher food is coming to an airport near you.
In Boston, Herris Gourmet recently announced that they are supplying their OU Kosher-certified food products to the Hudson News retailer in Terminal E of Logan International Airport, through a distribution deal with York Street Caterers.
“We are thrilled to be able to now offer our customers a choice from of a line of great OU Kosher-certified food items, including sandwiches, wraps, salads, fruit, breakfast items and desserts,” said Valerie Bennett, General Manager of Logan Airport’s Hudson News.
“We hope to be able to provide great tasting OU Kosher-certified food for travelers in other airports in the tristate area and look forward to achieving this goal in the near future,” said Herman Franczoz, President of Herris Gourmet. El Al Israel Airlines recently began service (3 days a week) from Logan.
Some 67,000 people travelled from Boston to Tel Aviv last year. Boston, say travel experts, is one of many airports that on a typical day has many kosher travelers.
There is also Chef Allen 2 Go in Terminal 3 in the Hollywood/Ft. Lauderdale Airport, serving the busy Jewish business on Jet Blue flights to the New York area.
According to kosher sources, there were kosher options at JFK in years past and even Newark but because of high concession fees and not enough being invested into marketing, they failed. This time around, say the experts, the move towards kosher could include nearly a dozen airports initially and perhaps 20 within five years, especially if it is tied into the national chain, Hudson News. The key will be that once the kosher option exists that kosher consumers patronize them rather than bringing food from home or stop at a restaurant on the way to the airport.