Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
More than 40 different Israeli food and beverage companies, representing hundreds of products – ranging from ice cream, cookies, and candies, to prepared meals, deli meats, and fine wines – were on exhibit at the 2004 KosherFest show, that was at New York City’s Jacob Javits Center, Tuesday, October 26 through Wednesday, October 27. The companies, all of which export their products to the U.S. market, presented under the umbrella name, “Fine Foods from Israel.”
The Fine Foods from Israel marketing campaign was launched two years ago by the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute, to better promote Israeli food and beverage exports to the United States and elsewhere.
Although Israel is best known as the world’s second greatest technology exporter (after the U.S.), Israel’s food, beverage and wine production represented 30% of Israel’s 2003 industrial revenue, or more than $12 billion. Last year, U.S. imports of Israeli food and beverages grew 30% over 2002 imports, and in the first six months of 2004, exports to the U.S. rose more than 60%.
Why are so many Israeli brands becoming so successful in the U.S. market? According to Zohar Peri, Economic Minister to North America, Israel Economic Mission, “Geography and demography combine to make Israel a culinary crossroad where European, Middle Eastern and North African cuisines blend together in one huge melting pot, resulting in a wide array of original Mediterranean-style foods. Because many Israeli products are either lactose- free, meat-free, sugar-free, and/or organic, they appeal to many cross sections of US consumers. And as we all know, kosher means the highest quality and purity.”
Such major supermarket chains as Shop-Rite, Waldbaums, The Associated, and Pathmark carry large selections of Israeli food products, and fine, varietal Israeli wines are finally being recognized as being among the better wines in the world. With more and more U.S. consumers concerned with food purity and quality, Israeli food imports are expected to continue their dramatic growth for many years to come.
For further information about Fine Foods from Israel, go to www.finefoodsisrael.com or contact Hanna Kamionski, Israel Economic Mission, (212) 499-5624.
About the Author: Magazine Editor, The Jewish Press
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