Consumers are looking for quality, health and safety in kosher food

In a survey of adults who buy these products, Mintel found that 62% buy them because of their quality.

Christians, Muslims, Jews and atheists alike are helping to drive the kosher food market, according to a new report by market research firm Mintel.

The second most common reason people buy kosher food is because it’s “overall healthy” (51%), followed by food safety (34%). This is in marked contrast to only 14% of respondents who say they buy kosher food, following religious norms. Another 10% buy kosher because they follow other religious rules with restrictions similar to eating kosher food. On the other hand, 62% of adults consume them because of their quality.

“Kosher food has developed a reputation for being carefully prepared and carefully inspected,” says Dr. Marcia Mogelonsky, senior analyst at Mintel. “With recent alarms about food safety, which can cause problems for people and even the most famous brands, kosher food guarantees the safety and quality of food to consumers.”

The market for kosher food is strong and growing in the US. Mintel reports the total was $12.5 billion in 2008, a 64% increase since 2003. A recent survey by the agency found that 13% of adults say they buy kosher food on purpose.

During 2008, 1 in 4 (28%) product launches in the food and beverage sector in the United States carried the kosher symbol.

Kosher certified sales include prepared foods and kosher meat, dairy products and fish. These are not “intrinsically kosher”, non-transformed products like fruits and vegetables.

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