Report: Watch Out for Post-Pesach Food Price Increases

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kosher-foodConcern that steep increases in food prices will impact kosher consumers before Pesach appear to be only partially correct, a survey of Kosher Today shows. While there may be some increases in poultry and meat due to higher commodity prices, kosher consumers will largely escape a pre-holiday hike, namely because prices were already fixed long before the dramatic increases due to fuel increases and the unsettled situation in the Middle East.

Laura Burke, National Marketing Manager for Streits, said that her company “had seen that increases were coming and planned ahead negotiating contracts with raw material suppliers to keep prices fixed for Passover.” She added: “There has not been an increase on price of Streits products we sell to our customers this Passover; they have remained the same as last year.”

Some distributors and purveyors said that “consumers may have lucked out” because most of the supermarket chains tried to lock-in prices as early as September 2010. What that meant was that some manufacturers had “to eat” the higher commodity prices which were already skyrocketing months ago. Many retailers say they will not increase prices over last year, but how many follow this pledge remains to be seen.

Israeli manufacturers are said to have taken somewhat “of a hit” since the government of Israel and the only Passover flour mill in Israel set much higher prices for flour in November, long after the matzah manufacturers guaranteed a lower price to retailers. One leading poultry producer told Kosher Today that he had no choice but to put an immediate price increase in effect as the cost of corn needed to feed the fowl soared.

If the overall Passover picture was brighter than expected, Kosher Today has learned that many prices will increase after Passover.

One leading distributor told KT that “we plan to announce price increases that will take effect right after Passover and a second increase to be followed in about 4 months, bringing the total price increases of 2011 to anywhere between 20 to 30%.” He said that the increases on commodities, especially cooking/frying oils, wheat/corn, and sugar are so steep that even with 20-30% price increases, manufacturers will still be absorbing considerable part of the commodity price increases.” Some of the distributors felt that the full brunt of the increases would be felt during the Rosh Hashanah holiday.

However, as previously reported in KosherToday, consumers will increasingly find respite in Kosher Coupon and Groupon type sites. Web-based companies such as, as well as several food manufacturers’ websites, offer print-out coupons for in-store use. Additionally, many consumers will seek out deals and specials in supermarket newsletters as well as via price comparison Smartphone Apps and social media. Industry analysts are predicting that a price increase may lead the kosher consumer to shift towards more wholesale buying, as wholesale stores such as Costco have significantly increased their kosher offerings and generally offer more savings than standard supermarket prices. The US Department of Agriculture recently noted that consumers could see food costs spiking to levels seen during the food crisis of 2008 as higher commodity and energy prices force companies to raise prices on products lining grocery store shelves.

The USDA confirmed the KosherToday findings that the lion’s share of the increase is expected in the second half of 2011 when the recent uptick for commodities, such as corn and soybeans, makes its way through the food system. Wal-Mart said it would work with suppliers to keep costs down as much as possible, and only pass along price increases when necessary. Wegmans Food Markets has said it will freeze prices on 40 products through 2011.

{Kosher Today/ Newscenter}


  1. Bla bla bla

    we read reports every year on Matzav and every year we just keep paying more and more
    so why do we need the reports?

  2. the reason for these expensive prices is that kosher for passover food involves more work & more time to make (including workers to watch the food & expensive machines that can bake in less then 18 minutes etc…) with this involved & all the extra money it costs the companys to hire this extra work they need to charge more. I JUST WISH THERE WAS A WAY AROUND IT (AKA volunteers to watch the food & do all the extra work) ON THE OTHER HAND this is a nisayon (test) from H-shem to see if each of us has the proper faith in Hashem & believe that he will make it through pesach even with all the expenses & work involved MAY EVERYONE HAVE A KOSHERIN PESACH

  3. Dear #3,

    I would like to contact you through Matzav. There is a vital investment in the very future of Klal Yisrael that you will not want to miss out on.

  4. There’s another factor at work here. Some manufacturers count on the increased volume at Pesach to pick up the slack for the rest of the year. Their ability to turn a profit for the year depends on Pesach – the food industry has always operated with a very low profit margin. So what’s the solution? Don’t ask me – I don’t know.


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