KosherFest, the longest-running annual kosher food trade show in America, is shutting down permanently, according to an announcement Wednesday sent to the show’s exhibitors and attendees.
“After a very thorough analysis, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue Kosherfest for 2023,” the trade show’s organizers announced in a brief statement on the KosherFest website.
“Due to today’s changing supermarket ecosystem and the consolidation of responsibilities in many major supermarket chains we feel we could not provide the value and experience that our audience has come to expect from Kosherfest. We thank our loyal attendees and exhibitors for many years of support.”
KosherFest was conceived in 1989 by Irving Silverman, who hired public relations mogul Menachem Lubinsky to market the show. Diversified Communications of Portland, Maine began in 2004 to co-produce the event with Lubinsky’s communications agency, Lubicom.
The annual two-day trade fair for the kosher-certified food industry was held for the past few years at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey and featured an exhibition hall, lectures, cooking demonstrations, a culinary competition between celebrity chefs, and new product awards.
Organizers of the trade show offered a bit more detail in a letter sent simultaneously to exhibitors and attendees.
“After extensive discussions with our consultant, bellwether exhibitors and very thorough analysis, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue Kosherfest,” the letter read.
“Due to today’s changing supermarket category manager buying responsibilities and the elimination of the kosher buyer in many major supermarket chains, exhibitors feel Kosherfest has run its course and there is no longer significant ROI to justify exhibiting at the show,” the letter explained.
“Within supermarket chains, the kosher food category increasingly falls under the grocery buyer’s responsibility. As this buyer is responsible for sourcing and purchasing a wide array of products, they are more likely to attend food events displaying items not just exclusive to kosher. A certified kosher only food show such as Kosherfest is too niche for their attendance.
“All exhibit space deposits received, will be refunded within the next 2 – 3 weeks.”