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BEHIND THE

REACHING 7,000 FOOD EXECUTIVES & OVER 6,000 PLANTS WORLDWIDE

FALL

WWW.OUKOSHER.COM // A PUBLICATION FOR

CERTIFIED COMPANIES


BEHIND THE KASHRUT DIVISION

Rabbi Menachem Genack Rabbi Moshe Elefant

RA B B IN I C A D M IN I S T RAT OR / C EO EXEC U T I V E R A BB I NI C C O ORD I NAT O R / C OO DIR EC T OR, NE W C OM PA NY D EPA RT M E NT

Rabbi Yaakov Luban Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran

EXEC U T I V E R A BB I NI C C O ORD I NAT O R S EN I OR RA B BIN IC C OOR DI N AT O R VIC E P RE S ID EN T, C OM M U NIC AT ION S A N D M A RKET I NG

Rabbi Yerachmiel Morrison Rabbi Abraham Juravel Rabbi Howard Katzenstein Dr. Simcha Katz Rabbi Kenneth Auman Rabbi Emanuel Holzer

I NGRE DI EN T A P P ROVA L REG IS T RY I NGRE DI EN T A P P ROVA L REG IS T RY DIR EC T OR, BU S I N ES S M A N A G E M EN T C H A IR M A N, J OI N T K A S HR U T COM M IS S IO N C H A IR M A N, R A BB I NI C K A S H RU T C O M M IS S I ON CH A IR M A N EM ER IT U S

ORTHODOX UNION

Stephen J. Savitsky Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb David Olivestone

P RES IDEN T EXEC U T I V E V I C E P RES IDE NT N AT IO NA L D I REC T OR, P L A NN I NG A ND C OM M U NIC AT IO NS

BEHIND THE UNION SYMBOL

Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran Stephen Steiner Pamela Weiman

ED I T OR- I N- C H IE F ED I T OR G RA P H IC DE S IG N ER

WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS & CONTR IB U T I ON S

FA X 2 1 2 .6 1 3 . 0 7 7 5 // E-M A IL S A F RA NE @ OU .OR G

E D I TOR ’ S L ET TER

A Winning Story! TWO Y EARS AG O IN T HIS C O L U MN , I wrote about the

continued upsurge in “kosher consciousness,” particularly among non-Jews. Kosher products, I noted, were increasingly being sought by Muslims and Seventh-Day Adventists with religious dietary restrictions similar to kosher, by those with dietary health issues such as lactose intolerance, and by millions of ordinary consumers who regard the OU symbol as an assurance of wholesomeness and quality.

>>

DONE BY DESIGN

Steady readers of BTUS will notice that this issue features a bold new design, the first major change in appearance since the magazine's debut in 1999, The design, featuring new typefaces and the increased use of red, gives BTUS a more modern and sprightly look, most appropriate as OU Kosher looks to the future. I would like to thank Pamela Weiman, who has been BTUS' graphic designer from the very beginning and whose work on this publication has drawn many kudos, for deciding to change BTUS' look, undertaking the redesign, and performing the tweaks and other modifications necessary to complete the task. Your comments would be appreciated, sent to me at safrane@ou.org. R.E.S

Now, a recent survey has corroborated not only these market trends, but also the superiority of OU certification over other kosher symbols in the packaged goods marketplace. The Kosher Certification Symbol Study conducted by the New York-based WAC Survey and Strategic Consulting in December 2006 and January 2007, questioned 1730 randomly selected purchasers of kosher food nationwide about their food buying habits. Participants were divided into three subgroups: the “core” was Jews who buy kosher food year round; the “fringe,” or Jews who buy kosher food on holidays only; and the “crossover,” consisting of non-Jews who buy kosher products. This last group was further broken down into Muslims, those with lactose intolerance, and individuals who consider themselves health conscious. As this survey shows, the skyrocketing number of kosher certified products on supermarket shelves has not been lost on American consumers. Of those surveyed, an overwhelming 82 percent can recognize a kosher certification symbol, and 66 percent said they usually buy products bearing those symbols. Interestingly for retailers, six of ten >> CONTINUED ON PAGE 37


Survey Finds OU the Clear Leader in Kosher Certification AMID T H E EX PL O S I V E G ROWT H of the U.S. kosher food

industry in recent years, a new survey has found the OU symbol of the Orthodox Union to be consumers’ preferred kosher certification in the packaged goods marketplace. Jewish respondents consistently named OU their top choice for ensuring the food they purchase meets the most stringent kosher certification, while non-Jews perceived the OU to signify the highest level of product safety and cleanliness. The Kosher Certification Symbol Study was conducted by WAC Survey and Strategic Consulting in late December and early January 2007. The online survey questioned 1730 randomly selected kosher food consumers about their food buying habits and asked them to rate six kosher symbols on multiple attributes such as familiarity, reliability, freshness, quality and taste. Jews and non-Jews participated in the study, including Muslims, lactose intolerant and health conscious individuals who purchase kosher food on occasion. “The survey makes clear what we instinctively knew: That the OU symbol is iconic in terms of kosher certification, that it is like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval

CONSUMERS TRUST OU TO ENSURE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF KOSHER, FOOD SAFETY, AND CLEANLINESS

or the Underwriters Laboratories UL on an electrical product,” declared Rabbi Menachem Genack, Chief Executive Officer of OU Kosher. “Consumers—Jewish and non-Jewish alike — trust it for a variety of reasons, and that is why the OU is the world’s most accepted and recognized kosher symbol.” THE FINDINGS: THE POWER OF OU CERTIFICATION

Of those surveyed: >>

82% can recognize a kosher certification symbol

>>

66% usually choose to buy a product with a kosher certification symbol

>>

Six of 10 who don’t buy store brands would do so if it had a preferred kosher certification symbol.

When OU was compared with other kosher symbols: >>

OU was the best known and most widely recognized kosher certification symbol by a wide margin among Jewish and non-Jewish respondents. >> CONTINUED ON PAGE 40

SPRING 2007 // 3


OU’S (GROWING)

B Y B AY L A S H E VA B R E N N E R

IT LOOKS LIKE OUR NEIGHBORS ACROSS THE ATLANTIC ARE CATCHING ON TO THE POWER OF GOING KOSHER. U.S. food companies have long understood that it’s consumer demand that drives the market. They’ve also understood that kosher certification tops most consumers’ lists of demands. “If a European company wants to sell a product to the United States, whether it’s ingredients to be used by manufacturers or finished goods which are going to be used by the kosher-conscious American consumer, it’s has to be kosher,” says Rabbi Nahum Rabinowitz, OU Kosher Senior Rabbinic Coordinator, who heads the European desk. “With the OU’s worldwide recognition, it is in the best position to open markets for these companies.” Based on the current rate European companies are seeking OU certification, the trend to go kosher is in full swing.

4 // BEHIND THE UNION SYMBOL


According to Rabbi Moshe Elefant, the Chief Operating Officer of OU Kosher, Grinstead of Denmark, a large emulsifier facility making raw materials for food, became the first company to obtain OU kosher certification back in the 1960’s. He sees the dissolution of the Iron Curtain, the Cold War and the Berlin Wall as contributing factors in paving the way to kosher certification in European food production. “The trend didn’t actually take off until the ‘80’s,” says Rabbi Elefant. “As the world gets smaller and kosher gets bigger these companies turn to us for supervision in order that they can penetrate the increasing kosher market in the United States and Israel. There are also European companies that have certified plants in the U.S. and need to cross-supply to each other. This has become a very common situation.” PRIME I NG R E D I E N T S FOR E X PORT

So, what are the kosher continental offerings? True to their nature as biology’s powerful catalysts, enzymes serve as the movers and shakers of the European raw materials export industry. Some of the world’s major enzyme companies are based in Europe, and Novozymes in Denmark, an OU certified facility, is one of the biggest. “Novozymes has more than 600 products that are key factors in the production of thousands of products used worldwide,” says RC Rabbi Menachem Adler. “Enzymes are used to create all sorts of different properties in foods; they’re used in the production of corn syrup, glucose syrup, corn, wheat and potato starch; they convert glucose into fructose used in many sodas.” Enzymes have become big business. In 2004, Novozymes had a market share in industrial enzymes of approximately 44 percent, and close to $100 million in sales. Dr. Avraham Meyer, European rabbinic field representative living in England, reports that these invaluable OU kosher

>>”The

dissolution of the Iron Curtain, the Cold War and the Berlin Wall are contributing factors in paving the way to

kosher certification in European food production.”

exports also enhance our enjoyment of corn flakes, After Eights, and cheeses. “They make things happen faster and taste better,” he says. “It’s a fascinating world, which the consumer of the final product knows nothing about.” Aside from the versatile enzyme, a myriad of raw materials, such as chemicals, oils, fats, fatty acids, glycerin, fatty alcohols, as well as flavors and food colorings are widely used to enhance food products. “I was recently at a company in Belgium that makes fruit paste and fruit pieces for the baking industry, as well as for ice-cream. It produces many flavors and each of them has to be kosher compatible,” Rabbi Yisroel Hollander, an RFR living in Antwerp, covers 130 plants, primarily involved with raw materials. “For the past five years, the company has been kosher strictly for special productions and they keep getting more and more requests for kosher ingredients.” This heightened kosher awareness crops up with increasing frequency and in unexpected ways. According to Rabbi Hollander, Diana Natural, a large company in France that makes coloring from fruit and vegetables, contacts him every August now to make 40 tons of kosher for Passover >> CONTINUED SPRING 2007 // 5


// continental

>>“Europe

has a specialty niche in the milk protein market, used to fortify nutritional products such as Ensure and infant formulas. It’s not something manufactured in America.”

TOP LEFT: Checking spray tower at Danisco Grinsted TOP RIGHT: L to R Helmut Redeker MD, Rabbi Menachem Adler – RC, Rabbi Avrohom Schwarz – RFR, Matthias Puls – Purchasing Manager, Dieter Hagen – QA Mgr LEFT: L to R: Sten Nielsen RAS Ole Lund Danisco Grinsted

<< CONTINENTAL CONTINUED

red coloring, months before they have actually received any order. “But, they know it’s coming!” says Rabbi Hollander. The flavorings listed on the labels of innumerable products on the U.S. supermarket shelves originated from leading European flavor companies such as Firmenich in Switzerland or Symrise in Germany. In our interdependent world, the requests come from both sides of the ocean. “As the demand for kosher increases throughout the world, companies are being called upon to provide ingredients,” says RC Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer. “Europe has a spe-

cialty niche in the milk protein market, used to fortify nutritional products such as Ensure and infant formulas. It’s not something manufactured in America.” He cites the reason.” The European governments subsidize their farmers to use their milk to develop these proteins.” And then there are the coveted products indigenous to European countries such as Danish Blue Cheese from Dana Blue, in Denmark, cheddar Gloucester cheese from England, and Boursin — a French cream cheese. While these transatlantic OU-certified raw materials continue to make

their way into products and the retail market across the U.S., Israel, and other spots around the globe, consumers are also finding an increasing number of savory European-manufactured “finished products” on their supermarket shelves. Kosher carbohydrate lovers in America and Israel are enjoying easy access to Walkers Butter Cookies from Scotland, Carr’s and Ryvita crackers from England, McCane’s Oats from Denmark, cake mixes and bread crumbs from Holland, top-selling Loacker wafers from Italy, and Hefti Produkta (Hafner in the United States) premium gourmet mini-pie shells. >> CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

6 // BEHIND THE UNION SYMBOL


US DRIVES GLOBAL KOSHER INGREDIENT NEED

REPRINTED FROM FOODNAVIGATOR.COM

B Y J E S S H A L L I D AY $2,500 and $5,000) that must be considered, but non-kosher products that are not being made and sold at that time.

31.07.2007. The growing kosher market is prompting manufacturers in countries without much local demand to gain certification so they can export to the high-potential US, and some are exporting continuous kosher production to keep down costs.

“Proportionately it is a lot more expensive for customers,” said Miller. He added that they cannot respond to market demand fast, as they production is limited to the allocated time frame.

Rabbi Eliyahu Safran, VP of communications and marketing at Kosher certification service The Orthodox Union (OU) told FoodNavigator.com that there is an increase in ingredients firms seeking certification. As more and more kosher consumer products become available, suppliers do not want to be excluded from the market.

Miller agreed that because of the precepts of traceability, mixing specifications and no contamination between milk and meat products, there is often a perception of higher quality. In times of general concern about the safety of food supply, such a perception can make kosher foods attractive to non-Jewish consumers too.

While the US is the largest Kosher market the companies that cater to it are geographically wide-spread. The fact that the OU has plants on its books in Turkey and China, for instance, and over 300 (mainly ingredients) plants in China does not mean that there is a big consumer demand for Kosher products in these local markets.

In a survey conducted in the US by Mintel in 2005, 55 per cent of respondents who buy kosher foods said they thought they held a higher market of health and safety than non-kosher items. Mintel identified demand for dairy- and meat-free products as driving forces behind market growth — despite the shrinking US Jewish population.

Rather, the companies seeking certification are wishing to export to the US.

Moreover food that is certified as Kosher is also suitable for Muslims who follow a Halal diet.

The OU, which has its headquarters in the US, certifies 6,000 plants in 83 countries (both ingredients and finished product manufacturers). Data drawn from Mintel’s Global New Products Database bears witness to the vast difference in size between the US and European kosher markets. The database contains around 12,000 entries of new products in the US in the last five years, compared to less than 400 in Europe. French ingredients firm Solabia recently introduced continuous kosher production of its peptones and hydrolysates at its plant in Beauvais, France, as as to be able to meet demand more quickly and help reduce costs.

>> ”In

a survey conducted in the US by Mintel in 2005, 55 per cent of respondents who buy kosher foods said they thought they held a

higher market of health and safety than non-kosher items.”

Peptones — enzymatic digests of plant of animal protein — are used by the agri-food industries for the production of starter cultures or probiotics for dairy or food. Solabia has now transferred all production of meat peptones to its facility in Brazil, so it is not longer making any products that could contaminate the line in France. This is not the first time they have made kosher products, but Miller said that the company made be “somewhat unique, in that most people do it on a campaign basis”. Since in most factories a range of different products are produced, it is not possible to dedicate the whole facility to kosher strategy. Rather, they decide to make kosher products only at certain times of the year. A drawback of this is that cleaning the production lines under rabbinical supervision can call for between 24 and 48 hours down-time. This means that the cost is spread over limited products — and it is not only the cost of koshering (said to range from

SPRING 2007 // 7


// continental >> ”We

have been able to develop systems that work seamlessly with companies to provide kosher food in a way that isn’t costly — and that is, in fact, profitable. That’s the OU’s success in the U.S. and we are bringing that success to Europe.”

A B O V E: Ra b b i H o l la n d e r Ins pe ct i n g a p l a n t in Eu r o p e. R I GH T: R a bb i Sc h w a r z w al ki n g t h ro u g h p lant a t D a ni sc o G ri n s t ed

<< CONTINENTAL CONTINUED

“I was told that in Zurich one can’t have a kiddush (a repast following Sabbath services) without those minipie shells,” says RC Rabbi Dovid Rockove, who works with RFR’s supervising bakeries in England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland and Italy. American’s don’t have to boast Italian ancestry to frequently enjoy linguini, fettuccine or rigatoni. Barilla, one of Italy’s foremost producers of these chewy multi-shaped morsels of dough, has become America’s number one brand of OU-certified pasta. And the nation’s rising interest in healthy eating keeps Borges Spanish olive oil (under the Star label) the leading brand of olive oil in California and a top seller in its category throughout the U.S.

IF THIS IS MONDAY, IT MUST BE PARIS, ZURICH, MILAN, HAMBURG — OR ZWIJNDRECHT?

Traipsing around Europe may be some peoples’ idea of a vacation; for the OU”s rabbinic field representatives, it’s a job, one that they feel privileged to be performing. Rabbi Hollander leaves his house on Sunday evening or Monday morning and returns home Thursday evening. “I could be on five planes in a week and do about six hours of driving, ten regular inspections, and one or two initial inspections. Then I get to the hotel at ten o’clock at night and fall asleep, to get up at seven the next morning and start again. He says his record stands at eight planes in one week. Besides his native English, the London-born rabbi speaks fluent French, Flemish, Yiddish, and Hebrew, and understands German “My phone bills are sometimes a bit higher than RFR’s in the United States,” he says. “It’s a valued opportunity to answer my children’s homework questions. When we go on vacation, we stay home.” During one of those rare breaks, he received an urgent assignment to oversee a kosher for Passover production for two days. “That’s just how it is,” says the dedicated RFR. Most midnights find the rabbi checking his emails and phoning Rabbi Rabinowitz to discuss business. “He starts his day when I finish mine.” Dr. Meyer also visits food companies throughout Europe, insuring they uphold OU’s impeccable kosher stan>> CONTINUED ON PAGE 35

8 // BEHIND THE UNION SYMBOL


Anuga

A Trade Show Lover’s Dream BY PHYLLIS KOEGEL

EVE RYO N E CL O S E TO ME knows

that I love trade shows. Having been a show director, exhibitor and attendee, and having visited every food industry trade event imaginable, I’ve seen them all. From specialty foods, ethnic events, ingredients, nutraceuticals and candy, just to mention a few, nothing prepared me for the enormity, scope and venue of Anuga! Held every two years in Cologne, Germany, and most recently in October, Anuga is by far the quintessential food industry trade show I have ever attended. In my role as New Business Development Associate for the OU, it is my job (it’s

>> “They understood that to enter the

American kosher market the demand for an

internationally known kosher certification such as the OU was a smart business decision their customers were demanding.” actually a pleasure) to search for new companies looking to tap into the ever-growing kosher food industry. With my Belgian colleague, Rabbi Yisroel Hollander, one of the OU’s European rabbinic field representatives, we walked for miles (or so it seemed), in the enormous Koelnmesse where approximately 6,000 exhibitors sampled their products to over 150,000 international buyers.

The convention center encompassed 11 halls where companies from all over the globe exhibited a wide scope of food products including specialty/gourmet, beverages, chilled food, meat, frozen food, dairy, bread and bakery, organic, retail technology and foodservice. Rabbi Hollander and I met many international satisfied OU clients who were happy to see us and enthusiastically showed us their “Proud to Be OU” signs displayed in their booths and on their product labels. Even with some language barriers the OU symbol was our common bond, as we smiled knowingly at each other that having obtained the OU symbol was a strategic business decision on their part. As Rabbi Hollander and I approached companies which were not yet kosher certified and explained who we were, we were greeted with the same response over and over again. The food manufacturers knew about the kosher market and had received requests from many of their customers particularly, in the United States and Israel, requesting OU certification. Many explained to us that it was a business decision they knew they had to make in order to increase market share and revenues. We were greeted with the same reaction in most of the food categories we visited. Anuga 2007 had eight new trend themes: organic

products, gourmet and specialty products, health and functional foods, kosher products, private labels, halal food, finger food and vegetarian products. All of these food categories were eager to learn about becoming OU certified, including many companies which had kosher certification from other international agencies. They understood that to enter the American kosher market the demand for an internationally known kosher certification such as the OU was a smart business decision their customers were demanding. If you’ve ever attended a food trade show, you know how exhausting they can be. Anuga is no different except that there is so much to see and the days are simply not long enough. With the cacophony of languages spoken, I marveled at the fact that there was one focus at Anuga, and that was doing business. I hope to be at Anuga 2009, but next time I’ll need my roller skates! PHYLLIS KOEGEL IS NE W BU S IN ES S DE VE LO P M E NT /MARK ET I N G AS S OC IAT E F O R OU K OS H ER . S HE CA N B E R EA C HED AT KOEGEL P @OU .O R G.

SPRING 2007 // 9


1

1. Main blending room, where blends are milled to then be spray-dried. 2. Fluidized bed level of 1000-lb. per hour tower spray-dryer. 3. Pasteurized cream tanks and ev aporator. The evapo rator is used to further condense raw materials prior to spray drying them into powder.

2

ESP@DSP?

HOW A STATE OF THE ART AUTOMATED SYSTEM REVOLUTIONIZED DAIRY PROCESSING AT AN OU CERTIFIED PLANT

3

BY RABBI ANDREW GORDIMER

IN THE FA R M C O U N T RY of Reading, PA, a kosher wonder has been born. Created with what can only be termed “Kosher Intelligent Design,” Dietrich’s Specialty Processing, LLC has sharpened and reshaped the cutting edge of kosher systems, setting an example that is hard to match. Dietrich’s Specialty Processing (hereafter referred to as “DSP”) is the brainchild of Tom Dietrich and Robert Kline. Although it is in its final stages of construction, DSP opened for business in 2006 and has made quite an impact on the dairy and food ingredi10 / / B E H I N D T H E U N I O N S Y M B O L

ents industries. Featuring an array of dairy products (regular and organic milk, butter, buttermilk, cream, ice cream mixes) and innumerable spraydried offerings, the plant is a one-stop dairy and spray-dried ingredients provider, fully integrated from head-totoe. With two general processing rooms equipped with liquefiers and full pasteurization lines, a dairy room and two spray-drying systems—all brand new and fully interconnected— DSP has made major strides in the dairy and drying industries in a remarkably short time.

What really brings DSP to the attention of BTUS, however, is its OU program, which is unlike any other. Prior to constructing DSP, its management—led by Jeff James, DSP’s operations manager—contacted Rabbi Richard Levine, the OU’s rabbinic field representative, for input on the design of a kosher system for the projected new plant, which would process dairy, non-dairy (pareve) and even nonkosher materials, and be kosherized with utmost ease. Mr. James had extensive experience and training on the intricacies of kosher programs, and


>> ”The

most exciting facet of DSP’s kosherization is that it is a

totally digital and web-based system.” he had previously worked with Rabbi Levine in such a format. Rabbi Levine and Mr. James labored, with the guidance and cooperation of OU Kosher headquarters, to create a system in which every piece of equipment was designed to be part of an automated, integrated kosherization protocol, with kosherization being part of the defining specifications of all plant mechanisms and operations. For example, each of DSP’s three processing rooms was equipped with its own, fully-independent CIP system. The CIP automatically runs through each room’s entire piping line, pre-programmed to operate at kosherization temperatures as needed.

Similarly, the spray-dryers were designed to undergo kosherization via CIP, in which boiling water floods each chamber through high-power spray-balls, with the CIP water being automatically re-circulated through each drying system’s dedicated heat exchanger, from which the boiling water again flows through the sprayballs so as to establish a continuous kosherization loop in each chamber. This is an ideal, dream-like kosherization system for most plants; at DSP, it is part of everyday operations. The most exciting facet of DSP’s kosherization is that it is a totally digital and web-based system. But first, a very relevant story. >> CONTINUED ON PAGE 38

RABBI RICHARD LEVINE When DSP executives contacted Rabbi Richard Levine to work with them on designing a kosher system for their projected new plant, they had the right man. In more than 25 years in the food industry, Rabbi Levine has been involved in almost every aspect of the business, from trained chocolatier, to professional cook, to warehousing, to buying, to sales. “It is this experience that gives me a different perspective and view of the plants I work in, and my ability to sit and dialogue with company executives helps create good working relationships,” he explains. Rabbi Levine grew up in Montreal; went to Bar-Ilan University in Israel; and graduated from New York’s Yeshiva University, where he later received his rabbinical ordination. He also attended graduate school in Jewish education at YU. Moving to Cincinnati, he worked for the local va’ad (kosher certification agency) supervising butchers, hotels, local bakeries, Jewish Community Center and Jewish Hospital kitchens, as well as caterers. He then moved to Baltimore, where he had his experience with chocolate.

When attending your industry conferences or exhibiting at shows

BE SURE TO DISPLAY YOUR “WE ARE PROUD TO BE AN OU COMPANY” SIGN. Your marketing people and show organizers should always have the signs in their show kits. They are sure to attract the kosher buyers to your booth. If you need more copies of the sign, we will be glad to supply them.

Rabbi Levine has been an OU RFR since 1997. In younger days he also had OU involvement as an active member of NCSY, the Orthodox Union’s national youth program.

Email BeckS@ou.org for your copies.

He and his wife Sharon have four children and two grandchildren. They live in Baltimore, MD.

NEW BEAUTIFUL SIGNS NOW AVAILABLE

S P R I N G 2 0 0 7 / / 11


Here’s Something to Chew On

HOW GRANOLA BRINGS BENEFITS TO HEALTH-CONSCIOUS CONSUMERS

BY RABBI YISROEL BENDELSTEIN

Americans today are looking for alternatives. This trend has manifested itself in many different areas but is perhaps the most pronounced in the health sector. How often do we hear about alternative medicine? As a result, more and more Americans are electing to have a homeopath, chiropractor, or kinesiologist be their primary care physician in place of the more conventional medical doctor. In a word, Americans are looking to lead a more ‘natural’ lifestyle. After all, what can be better than what nature itself has to offer?

12 / / B E H I N D T H E U N I O N S Y M B O L


>> ”Just

because a food is made up of all natural ingredients, that doesn’t mean it is kosher. In fact,

there are many natural ingredients used in typical granola products that may not be kosher.” This ‘natural’ lifestyle trend has in no small measure impacted as well upon the food industry. In order to accommodate the growing population of vegetarians and macrobiotics, food manufacturers have reformulated many recipes by substituting natural and organic ingredients over their artificial and non-organic counterparts. Just in the past three years alone, my office, which processes thousands of new product applications for kosher approval, has noticed in the batch formulae of these requests more wholesome ingredients. My encounters with unbleached flour instead of bleached, cane juice in lieu of high fructose corn syrup, and expeller pressed oil as opposed to the chemically extracted oil, are not as few and far between as they once were. In an effort to drive the ‘natural’ message home, the government has followed suit by requiring on nutrition labels as of January 2006 a declaration for trans fatty acids. This is done to alert the consumer that trans fats, which undergo the unnatural partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils, have been found to increase low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) or bad cholesterol in the blood, thus raising the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Substituting healthier ingredients in formulae is just one approach food manufacturers have taken to satisfy the ‘natural’ yearning of their customers. There is, however, a second approach that has grown in popularity

and also enjoys much success. Through the aid of intense research and development, food manufacturers are either devising new and innovative natural foods or are resuscitating and embellishing outdated ones. One such natural product that has hit supermarket shelves by storm, much to the delight of the consumer, is granola. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, granola was a trademark name that represented foods made up of crumbled or baked whole grain products. Whole grain products include whole wheat flour, oatmeal, popcorn, brown rice and whole wheat bread. There are many health benefits of whole grain over refined grain; most significant is the almost four times as much dietary fiber content. Studies have shown that foods with higher dietary fiber reduce the chances of many diseases, including coronary heart disease, diabetes and certain forms of cancer. While it may be true that the term granola was trademarked at the end of the nineteenth century, baked whole grain products can be traced as far back as the first man to inhabit this world. There is a fascinating source in Jewish literature and tradition that describes the diet of Adam from the Book of Genesis. In addition to fruits and vegetables, it is recorded that Adam ate bread. Bakeries may find this curious enough, as it is well known that bread making and baking requires much knowledge and skill, and where would Adam have acquired these necessary tools? What is even more astounding is that the same source states that before Adam sinned by eating from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, loaves of bread actually grew forth from the earth. It was only as a consequence of the sin, when Adam lost this privilege and was forced to fend for himself, that he needed to learn how to bake bread from scratch. Ever since,

humanity has never before delighted in a more natural and purer granola product than those loaves of bread that Adam ate before he sinned. Aside from the health benefits, granola has demonstrated great versatility and is quite delicious in an array of food categories. Just add to the whole grains some nuts, honey and dried fruit and it is an ideal breakfast food that can be used in combination with cereal or yogurt. Loose in a bag, it is a sort of high energy trail-mix snack. For a mouth-watering treat, it can be used as a topping for desserts. Bake these ingredients together and the result is a euphoric bar with half the calories of a candy bar. And how about trying a scrumptious and delectable granola cookie? Regardless if it is enjoyed as a breakfast cereal, snack, energy bar or cookie, granola is a quintessential ‘natural’ experience. Notwithstanding the basic natural components, granola products are not precluded from adhering to strict guidelines in order to become kosher certified. In other words, just because a food is made up of all natural ingredients, that doesn’t mean it is kosher. In fact, there are many natural ingredients used in typical granola products that may not be kosher. Some of these include but are not limited to oils, roasted nuts and seeds, powdered honey and molasses, oil treated dried fruit and nuts, natural flavors and colors. Another area that needs to be monitored for kosher, especially as it relates to whole grains, is infestation. Due to the purity of the product, whole grains have a tendency to become rancid faster than refined grain. Although companies are quite careful to maintain proper storage for the whole grain ingredients to avoid rancidification, occasionally, rabbinic field representatives have found that whole wheat flour or rolled oats, for example, have been subject to infestation. >> CONTINUED ON PAGE 39 S P R I N G 2 0 0 7 / / 13


// OUCOMPANIESSPEAK

KASHI GREAT TASTING, NUTRITIOUS, AND OU KOSHER TOO! FOUNDED IN 1984 Kashi — with the name being a combination

>> ”Bearing

the OU symbol, and making the additional effort with our ingredients and processing that is required to obtain certification, serves to reinforce our goal to achieve our Company mission.”

14 / / B E H I N D T H E U N I O N S Y M B O L

of Kashrut (that is, kosher) and Kushi, the name of the founder of the nutrition philosophy of macrobiotics — is a company on a mission to redefine how people eat to achieve their best lives. As a pioneering health food brand, Kashi is dedicated to providing great tasting, healthy and innovative foods that enable people to achieve optimal health and wellness. Its products are natural, minimally processed, and free of highly refined sugars, artificial additives and preservatives. Bearing the OU symbol, and making the additional effort with our ingredients and processing that is required to obtain certification, serves to reinforce our goal to achieve our Company mission and to seek the highest level of purity in our products. The complete line of Kashi® products enables the consumer to make easy, healthy snack and meal choices for themselves and their families. The Kashi® signature blend of seven whole grains and real natural goodies like fruits and whole nut clusters deliver a taste you’d never expect from a health food, while providing a complete nutritional package that leaves you feeling full and fulfilled. Kashi® is food for a balanced life, and every product reflects the Company’s dedication to creating great tasting, innovative healthy foods. Kashi brands include: Kashi® GOLEAN® cereals, hot cereal, bars, shakes and waffles; Kashi® Heart to Heart® cereal; Kashi® Heart to Heart™ instant oatmeal and waffles; Kashi® 7 Whole Grain Puffs, Honey Puffs, Nuggets and Flakes cereals; Kashi® Vive® Digestive Wellness cereal, Kashi® Good Friends® and Kashi® Good Friends® Cinna-Raisin Crunch® cereals; Kashi Mighty Bites™ cereal; Kashi® Organic Promise® cereals; Kashi® TLC® Crackers; Kashi® TLC® Crunchy Granola Bars, Chewy Granola Bars and Cookies; Kashi® All-Natural Frozen Entrées; and Kashi® Pilaf. For more information visit www.kashi.com. RABBI YISROEL BENDELSTEIN S ER VE S A S O RT H OD OX U N I ON RA BBINIC C OO R DIN AT OR F OR KA S HI.


// OUCOMPANIESSPEAK

NOT A HALF-BAKED IDEA BAKER’S BREAKFAST COOKIES, NUTRITIOUS AND DELICIOUS, PROUDLY BEAR THE OU SYMBOL AS A SIGN OF QUALITY QUESTION:

W HAT DID YOU HAVE FO R BR EA K FA ST T HI S MORNING?

>> ”OU

certification is recognized not only by the kosher market but by consumers in general as meeting the highest level of standards in food processing.”

The answer might be “nothing.” Or perhaps it was a doughnut, pastry or some other high-fat breakfast food. And that’s not good. Eating a healthy breakfast is one of the best things you can do. If you’re a breakfast eater, evidence shows that you’re likely to be more productive, better able to shed excess body weight and fat, and better able to maintain a healthy weight. In 1994, Erin Baker decided to do something about that. Renting the local 4-H kitchen on Whidbey Island, Washington, she began baking Baker’s Breakfast Cookies. Her goal: to satisfy and energize those who regularly went without breakfast with something nutritious, convenient and delicious. From the start, her products have been all-natural, providing a balanced source of complex carbohydrates, protein, fat and fiber to supply long-lasting energy.

More than a decade later, Baker and breakfast have proven to be a potent pair. Baker’s Breakfast Cookies are now sold nationwide in 12 flavors from banana walnut to mocha cappuccino. Four of the most popular flavors are also available as Breakfast Cookie Minis—one-ounce versions of the standard three-ounce cookie. Erin Baker holds a handful of certifications for her facility which she wears like a badge—including the OU. “Our Orthodox Union kosher certification was an important step in opening up a new market of kosher consumers,” she explained. “OU certification is recognized not only by the kosher market but by consumers in general as meeting the highest level of standards in food processing. Everyone looks for it now for peace of mind. It was a great decision.” Surely, the OU and her satisfied clientele would heartily agree. RABBI YISROEL BENDELSTEIN S ER VE S A S O RT H ODOX U N ION RA BBINIC C OORD IN AT OR F OR ER IN BA KE R’S .

S P R I N G 2 0 0 7 / / 15


// OUCOMPANIESSPEAK

AT HARLAN THE PURSUIT OF GROWTH WITH GRAINS, GRANOLA AND THE OU

BY DIANE NAGEL

IT IS NOT BY C O I N CI D E N CE that the Orthodox Union’s

(OU) symbol is synonymous with quality. The high standards and care with which OU-certified products must be produced are recognized by consumers and manufacturers alike. For Harlan Bakeries, Inc. (Harlan), a manufacturer in pursuit of excellence and growth, obtaining the supervision and certification of the OU for each of its products was a must. Harlan was founded in 1991 as a wholesale manufacturer and distributor of baked goods. Then as now, the core of Harlan’s mission was and is its emphasis on producing quality products and growing its business in a responsible manner for the greater good of its customers, employees and stakeholders. Partnering with the OU in 1995 to obtain kosher production supervision and product certification was a natural and mutually beneficial step in ensuring both the quality and growth of the Harlan product line, as well as in growing the offering of products available to consumers desiring or requiring their kosher certification.

Today, Harlan has expanded its product line beyond bagels to include pies, cakes, muffins, cookies and granola — products that are certified by the OU as either “kosher dairy” or “pareve.” The company’s sales and market penetration have continued to grow above and beyond its expectations through quick response to market demands and customer requests for new products. Though many of the market’s demands are in a constant state of flux, the demand for kosher products remains a constant — it has continued to increase at an annual rate of 15 percent over the past 25 years according to the research firm Integrated Marketing Communications (“Kosher Certification Moves Forward,” Foodnavigator.com — Europe. December 2003). So what accounts for the stability and growth of this important $165 billion market? As with any market of this size, there are multiple factors. There are, of course, the consumers who purchase kosher products for traditional religious beliefs. This segment of the market began to increase more than 15 years ago due to a rediscovery of >> CONTINUED ON PAGE 33

>> ”Harlan

has heard the voice of the consumer, and thanks in great part to the Orthodox Union, it has successfully achieved its mission of growth through quality.”

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BY DONNA BERRY, EDITOR AND CONSULTANT, DAIRY & FOOD COMMUNICATIONS, INC., CHICAGO

Cabot Quality Gets Stronger WITH OU KOSHER CHEESE

KOSHER HAS ITS ROOTS in Judaism, but its future has a much broader audience, as the term has come to be synonymous with quality. And in today’s America, with food safety recalls occurring on what seems to be a regular basis, many Americans are turning to well-recognized kosher certifiers such as the Orthodox Union for the reassurance they need to once again have faith in their food supply.

>> ”Since

Cabot Creamery is considered a mixed cheese plant, meaning not all products are certified kosher by OU, each block of OU-certified cheese must bear a special OU hologram security seal.”

For Jew or non-Jew, OU kosher certification is all about quality through purity. Such foods are produced under the strictest of standards, providing a safeguard against the presence of food-related illnesses. In fact, the kosher rules on hygienic preservation make certification a quality control seal. S HA RP AND CERTIFIED

With the demand for kosher in America at an all-time high, and showing no signs of abating, Cabot Creamery Cooperative of Vermont now offers Cabot OU Kosher Sharp Cheddar directly to consumers through their catalog and online store. “Our Sharp Vermont Cheddar was a blue-ribbon winner again at the most recent World Championships. Given the demand for

upscale kosher hard cheese, it makes sense to offer ‘The World’s Best Cheddar’ with Orthodox Union certification,” says Clay Whitney, direct marketing manager at Cabot. Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919 and makes a full line of traditional, specialty, reducedfat and flavored Cheddars, as well as butter and cultured dairy products. Best known as makers of “The Worlds Best Cheddar,” Cabot is owned by the dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast’s premier dairy cooperative. Cabot’s OU Kosher Sharp Cheddar is aged for about eight months. The initial production debuted in 2005 and was well received, especially by the kosher community. The company doubled its production in 2007 to meet demand. “Consumers frequently contact me to learn more about the Cabot OU Sharp Cheddar,” adds Whitney. “People want to know where they can buy it and when another batch will be made.” The next batch, which is also certified Kosher for Passover, will be available in late January 2008. Cabot Kosher Sharp Cheddar is available in random weight deli bars weighing approximately 10 ounces each. These bars are clearly marked with OU’s hologram sticker. Due to its limited production and unique customer base, Cabot sells the OU Kosher Sharp Cheddar online to both retail and wholesale customers only via its mail order website (www.shopcabot.com). As is the case with all kosher hard cheese, Cabot’s OU Kosher Sharp Cheddar is made on an exclusive pro>> CONTINUED ON PAGE 18 S P R I N G 2 0 0 7 / / 17


”Cabot’s Cheddar is renowned and is the recipient of cheese awards throughout the world >>

and it is quite novel for there to exist an OU variety of an item that would otherwise be totally inaccessible to the kosher market.”

<< CABOT CONTINUED

duction basis, explains Rabbi Andrew Gordimer, rabbinic coordinator at the OU. The OU rabbinic field representative (RFR) goes to Cabot’s cheese plant for each production run of the cheese seeking OU certification. He supervises the entire production of the cheese, from milk receiving to when the curd is packed and sealed into blocks for the aging room. “The RFR activates the coagulation process by adding the rennet to each vat. This is stipulated by kosher regulations,” says Rabbi Gordimer. The RFR marks every block of cheese prior to aging. No one touches that cheese until it is ready for cutting and packaging. The RFR comes back to supervise that final step in the manufacturing process. “Since Cabot Creamery is considered a mixed cheese plant, meaning not all products are certified kosher by OU, each block of OU-certified cheese must bear a special OU hologram security seal. In compliance with OU label

policy, which precludes certification of kosher and non-kosher products with the same exact label and brand name, Cabot developed special labels for this product, which accommodate the hologram seals and note that the product is not certified unless the holograms are present,” explained Rabbi Gordimer. Whitney elaborated on the utility of Cabot’s hologram system. “This provides added authenticity for the consumer. An identical system is being developed for the kosher meat industry as well.” “This is the only national brand Cheddar we certify,” Rabbi Gordimer says. “Cabot’s Cheddar is renowned and is the recipient of cheese awards throughout the world and it is quite novel for there to exist an OU variety of an item that would otherwise be totally inaccessible to the kosher market.” Rich Stammer, president of Cabot Creamery, adds, “Our kosher products are in keeping with our commitment to

provide our consumers with awardwinning dairy products that fit their desires and lifestyles.” THE BOOMING KOSHER LIFESTYLE

Stammer is definitely right on target with offering products for different consumer lifestyles. Today’s consumers want their individual preferences and needs met, and are willing to seek out products, even if that means special shopping trips, and higher prices. The results of a study profiling kosher food shoppers by Cannondale Associates, Evanston, IL, shows that kosher consumers are not driven by deep discounts. Key findings include that there are many faces of the kosher consumer, not just one. They want broader selection of categories, not multiple brands. Kosher consumers also spend about $1,000 more annually than the average buyer. In other >> CONTINUED ON PAGE 40

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Everything’s Popping! (WITH THE OU AND POPCORN) BY RABBI AHARON BRUN-KESTLER

According to www.popcorn.org, Americans consume in excess of 17 billion quarts of popped popcorn annually — or about 54 quarts for every man, woman and child. The world’s primary popcorn producing region is the Midwestern United States and an entire food industry has grown up around it. WHY IS POPCORN SO POPULAR?

Because it is nutritional, versatile and delicious! Popcorn is an easily prepared whole grain snack. Without butter or other additions, popcorn is about 31— 55 calories per cup. It goes with almost anything, and can accept a wide variety of flavor enhancements. Today, you don’t have to do much work to enjoy this treat. While of course one can still purchase raw popcorn and either air or oil pop it, microwave popcorn has become ubiquitous. In fact, the first test of the microwave on food in the 1940’s was popcorn. By the 1990’s this product niche had over $240 million in sales. And while salt and butter remain the most popular flavors, today’s marketplace is full of gourmet popcorns—and not only >> CONTINUED S P R I N G 2 0 0 7 / / 19


<< POPCORN CONTINUED

caramel. There are cheese flavors, chocolate covered, nut balls and new flavor trends like jalapeno, too. So, where does kosher come into this? Well, just about everywhere! While popcorn itself is intrinsically kosher when it comes from the ear, kosher concerns come into play as soon as it is processed. Today, popcorn is commonly purchased in easy to prepare forms like microwave or “in tin,” ready for the campfire or stove top. Almost all of these concoctions contain oils and flavorings—all of which have numerous kosher concerns. In fact, the OU certifies a large number of specialty popcorn popping and flavoring oils as well as numerous specialty flavoring powders and mixes tailored specifically to the popcorn industry.

”A cursory look at the OU computer system finds nearly 550 products related to popcorn– >>

everything from raw kernels to pineapple, coconut, and macadamia nut popcorn.”

As always, other kosher concerns surround the manufacturing and packaging. Does the company make only kosher versions, or are some of the cheese flavors, for example, not kosher? Is the end product pareve or dairy? What about, for example, the slurry mixers for the butter or cheese flavoring—does the company have enough equipment to have separate lines for each kosher related category? If not, how complicated a process is it to change from one to another? Is everything cool enough and automated enough that standard cleaning will suffice, or will a rabbi have to come and kosherize the equipment each time? Is it possible to set up effective and auditable cleanup and manufacturing protocols? Are packaging lines sufficiently cleaned and separated? As you

can see, many kosher concerns present themselves between the corn field and that bag of delicious popcorn on the supermarket shelf. A cursory look at the OU computer system finds nearly 550 products related to popcorn—everything from raw kernels to “pineapple, coconut, and macadamia nut popcorn.” So next time you eat a bag of delicious, nutritious OU certified popcorn, take a little time to think about all of the energy and work that goes “Behind the Union Symbol!” R A B B I A H A R O N B R U N - K E STLER enjoys addressing all aspects of kosher operations and assisting companies which seek to better understand the kosher market place as well as the “ins and outs” of kosher certification. His feature “Rabbi, Wine is Fine, but Liquor?” appeared in the Spring 2007 issue of BTUS. Rabbi Brun-Kestler serves as Orthodox Union rabbinic coordinator for snack companies and services companies in China and Spain.


It’s Cott to Be Good If the Beverage Is OU Kosher B Y K AT H R Y N B U N D Y

Since I’m from the South, I have often heard “kosher” as an expression validating one’s approval of something, more so than its biblical expression of Godly approval. A person would say, “Something is just not kosher about this,” meaning its integrity was questionable. Also coming from the South, I’ve had the benefit and pleasure of working for one of the region’s well-known beverage companies, Cott Beverages and RC Cola. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity of working alongside some of the best flavor chemists in the industry, people like Dr. Bill Miller, Martha Jones, Bill Bruner, Jimmy McKinstry, Prem Virmani, Richard Nachreiner and David Ragland. They taught me the importance of quality in everything I do. In the 26 years I’ve been in the industry, I’ve worked in Quality Control and Research & Development as well as in other key areas. Product quality has always been the driving force of innovation. Beverage formulas were not just flavored waters with sugar. They represented the art of combining ingredients into a great tasting beverage, so that wherever you might be when you purchased and consumed the beverage, it would always taste the same. Product quality is the most important aspect of beverage manufacturing and distribution. From the package to the pallet, we work hard to deliver the same great, high

>>”Today’s

consumer is flooded with beverage choices. The choices are endless. However, the one word most consumers recognize about a beverage is if it’s ‘kosher.’ Kosher is also used as a term indicating ‘its high quality!’” quality and consistent taste for consumers whether they are in New York, Miami or Los Angeles! So how is such a process possible when there are thousands of ingredients available? The secret is in being kosher certified. Kosher certified ingredients represent the best ingredients with added quality assurance. After years of working in the laboratory and learning all about beverages, my education continued into the area of beverage formulations. I took on the responsibility of preparing and submitting kosher applications so that each beverage formula would be kosher certified through the Orthodox Union. In this role, I learned that there were thousands of flavors and ingredients available for use in food and beverages, all of which were kosher certified. That again meant integrity and quality. This process was indeed a paper trail, involving every detail required for formula certification. Tasks such as this meant there had to be a team willing to work closely together while being miles apart. I found such a team when working with Rabbi Menachem Genack and Rabbi Yermia Indich, as well as with their extended staffs. All “i’s” were dotted and “t’s” crossed to assure that when the OU symbol appeared on our product labels we had covered the bases and it meant it had to be good! >> CONTINUED ON PAGE 27

S P R I N G 2 0 0 7 / / 21


// Keeping it kosher in Sunnyside PUB L IS H ED S AT UR D AY, O C T O BE R 1 3 T H, 2007 • ELENA OLMSTEAD HERALD VALLEY BUREAU SUNNYSIDE — The way Rabbi Yitzchok Gallor walks through Sunnyside’s Valley Processing plant, he easily could be mistaken for a manager. He checks temperatures, checks the plant’s equipment and points out any inconsistencies to the company’s owners. While Gallor is not an employee of Valley Processing, he could be called its most important customer. He works for the Orthodox Union, an organization based in New York that oversees the production of kosher products. The agency sends rabbis like Gallor to different processing plants all over the world to give various foods the kosher seal of approval — in this case, the company’s symbol of a U inside a circle. Valley Processing has spent nearly nine years trying to make the switch to producing entirely kosher products as it pursues a growing market demand. Plant owner Mary Ann Bliesner said most of the plant’s annual production of one million gallons of grape juice concentrate are kosher, with the exception of about 30,000 gallons. The other fruit products the company produces, such as apple, pear and cranberry juice concentrate, are all kosher. Bliesner said the company decided to go kosher because she thinks it will open new markets for its products, especially on the East Coast where there’s a larger Jewish population. Gallor said kosher products are gaining in popularity, with the market increasing by at least 10 percent annually. He said it’s not just Jews who are buying kosher, as many others have learned to look for kosher symbols on food to identify high quality.

>> “Ensuring

that one million gallons of grape juice concentrate leaves the plant kosher is a big responsibility for the rabbis.”

He said among those keeping kosher are Muslims, Seventh-day Adventists and many vegetarians. But ensuring something follows Jewish dietary laws is a long, detailed process. Two rabbis are assigned to Valley Processing. Together they alternate working 12-hour shifts so there always is a rabbi on hand. Rabbi Avrohom Gallor is Gallor’s 28-year-old son, and he’s been working with his father for six years. He said the rabbis’ biggest concerns are cleanliness, sanitation and “making sure the product is pure.” He said because Valley Processing now is processing grape products, the rabbis have to take more care. He said because grape juice is so closely related to wine, which is special because of its spiritual significance, they must carefully watch the process to make sure there is no way the juice they deem kosher can ever be made into wine. The trick to that is heating the juice slurry to a point where the enzymes that cause fermentation are destroyed. Long before the juice hits the processing equipment, the plant must be thoroughly cleaned and kosherized. The younger Gallor explained that because metal equipment is porous and can collect impurities, it must be super-heated to open the pores for cleaning. Once everything has been kosherized, one of the main responsibilities of the rabbis is making sure everything stays kosher. That means when equipment breaks, any replacement parts must be properly sanitized before they can be put to work. “So we avoid mix-ups,” Avrohom Gallor said. That means the rabbis also need an intimate knowledge of the plant’s workings. During a recent tour of the Sunnyside plant, the younger Gallor pointed to the maze of pipes overhead and said he knows what is flowing through each of them at any given time. The rabbis spend so much time at the plant during the fall that there is a sukkah on-site. A sukkah is a simple building with a roof built from branches that is used during Sukkot, a Jewish holiday that begins five days after Yom Kippur. Bliesner said she used to bring in a sukkah every year for the rabbis, but after several years she figured it would be easier to build one and leave it up all year. Ensuring that 1 million gallons of grape juice concentrate leaves the plant kosher is a big responsibility for the rabbis. The elder Gallor joked that his greatest worry is that when he dies he’s going to have some explaining to do at the pearly gates. He worries that he might miss something that would allow nonkosher juice to slip through. “I am human,” he said with a smile.

Story by Elena Olmstead in the Tri-City (Washington) Herald. Reprinted with permission. 22 / / B E H I N D T H E U N I O N S Y M B O L


“But Rabbi, what are you going to eat?”

Have Tuna Will Travel HOW OU RABBIS ON THE ROAD SURVIVE WITHOUT KOSHER RESTAURANTS BY RABBI CHAIM GOLDBERG A MULTI -M IL L I O N DO LL AR corpo-

ration sends an executive to meet with contacts in Iceland to review a potential production facility. What does the executive pack for such a trip? Tourist guides to find the hot springs, a digital camera to capture majestic photos of glaciers and geysers, and his Visa card (because in Iceland, they don’t take American Express, and no, we did not receive a product placement fee from Visa!!!). What does an OU rabbinic field representative pack for that trip? Maybe those things as well, but he also will need to pack all of the food he will need for the journey. He will also need to keep in mind that checked baggage gets lost and he can be stuck for the duration of his trip with nothing but what he has in his carry-on — as happened to me during a recent trip to Colombia! An obvious upside of hiring kosher observant rabbinic field representatives is that, given their total commitment to Jewish law, they take their work seriously. The downside is that restricted by kosher rules means we usually have to bring all of our own food with us. Generally speaking, outside of areas of concentrated Orthodox Jewish communities, there are no

kosher restaurants. In the United States and Canada, it is easy to go to the local supermarket and find OU certified products of both national and private label brands. Elsewhere, the selection of kosher certified foods on supermarket shelves is much more limited. As such, when your foreign plant is being visited by the OU rabbinic field representative, you can bet that the rabbi schlepped his lunch from home! During a visit to some salmon canneries in Alaska, my contact person innocently invited me to join the plant people and to eat in the mess hall. I reminded him that in order to kosherize the mess hall to eat there myself, the company would have to put it down for 24 hours, clean it to bare metal and then kosherize everything with boiling water and flame thrower, just as we would when we kosherize a plant. He then suggested I bring a sandwich from home! So, what does your rabbinic field representative usually do for food? Canned tuna, salmon and sardines are popular because they do not require refrigeration. If one is staying in a hotel with a refrigerator, your rabbi might upgrade to cheese or cold cuts sandwiches. In Iceland, I was lucky enough to have a coffee maker in the

room, which because it was dedicated to kosher use (plain coffee or tea), did not require kosherization prior to use and provided hot water for everything. Oatmeal for breakfast (in my own disposable bowl), instant mashed potatoes and cup-of-soup with my sandwich for dinner. Some rabbis opt for canned vegetables heated by running hot water from the sink over the can, or get really creative with hair dryers and irons (the only concern is whether the previous OU representative used the iron with fish, dairy or meat!!!) Sandwich makers, waffle irons, and immersion heaters are the tools of our trade! It may not be easy to visit your company’s facilities, but one thing is for certain: The OU will send its best and brightest, professionals who take the job seriously, and who are proud to endure any necessary culinary hardships in order to guarantee your company the utmost in service and the highest level of kashrut certification. RABBI CHAIM GOLDBERG has been serving as an Orthodox Union rabbinic coordinator since July 2002, specializing in companies producing fish, potatoes, oils and flavors. His most recent feature, “The Move Away From Trans Fats and Your OU Kosher Program,” appeared in the Spring 2007 issue of BTUS.

S P R I N G 2 0 0 7 / / 23


Brandy Is Dandy

BUT NEEDS SPECIAL ATTENTION TO BE KOSHER AS WELL B Y R A B B I YA A C O V M E N D E L S O N

24 / /

UNION SYMBOL


>> “Here

is a wonderful example of how kashrut and quality combine to produce a

world-renowned premier kosher beverage.”

BR A N DY I S S HO RT FO R brandywine and is derived from

the Dutch brandewijn, meaning burnt, or distilled, wine. The alcohol for brandy is produced by fermenting fruits to produce wine. Because fermentation is a result of the action of microbes in yeast, there is a natural limit to the alcohol content of the fermented material. When the alcohol concentration reaches a level of about 12 percent, fermentation stops. The reason is that the alcohol kills any remaining yeast so that no more alcohol is produced; the limit of alcohol content in wine, therefore, is around 12 percent. There is, however, a type of bacteria, called acetobacter, which thrives on alcohol, turning it into vinegar, thereby souring the wine. Thus, wine is ordinarily subject to two drawbacks in quality: The one is a limit to its strength, the other, a limit to its shelf life. The solution to both of the above problems is distillation, a process in which the product is heated until the alcohol boils off. The bacteria are killed as the heating process takes place. Since alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water, the vapor is a more highly concentrated alcohol. When the vapor is cooled down and recondensed, the result is brandy. Brandy, in other words, is concentrated wine. What are the kosher concerns of these products? Yeast is added in order to stimulate fermentation, so kosher certified yeast must be obtained. Since brandy is essentially a distilled grape wine, it is subject to all the usual kosher concerns of wine, requiring specially staffed and specially controlled kosher productions. Specialty brandies, however, are also made from other fruits. In that case, sometimes a flavor is added in order to strengthen the flavor of the fruit. Of course, flavors are some of the most kosher sensitive substances and require certification in order to be permitted in a kosher product. Some manufacturers actually use only pure fruit for their brandy, e.g., plums, apricots and pears. Thus the question of flavors is eliminated. However, in these cases, the alcohol level often needs to be adjusted to bring it into the right proportion with the flavor. This is often accomplished by adding alcohol purchased on the open market. This alcohol carries with it a possible plethora of problems, described below. >> CONTINUED ON PAGE 41

CERTIFICATION OF WINE

DEAR RABBI, HOW DO YOU MAKE KOSHER WINE? The Orthodox Union receives many inquiries about certification of wine. This is a typical response, as written by Rabbi Nahum Rabinowitz, Senior Rabbinic Coordinator. Dear _______: Thank you for your inquiry and interest in OU kosher certification. Please be advised that although the primary ingredient of wine — the grape — is inherently kosher, kosher wine and grape juice, due to kosher ritual requirements, are among the most kosher sensitive products. In the manufacturing process, subsequent to the point of grape delivery and pressing, all handling and processing is done exclusively by special kosher workers. This restriction remains in effect through the final bottling unless the product is sufficiently heated, such as in pasteurization. In practical terms, kosher wine production entails having a team of kosher workers for the crushing phase and one kosher worker to be on call for sampling, modification, transfer and bottling of the product. Depending on your location and the accessibility of kosher workers to the winery, the organization of such a program can be challenging. If you are interested in pursuing kosher certification, the first step would involve an evaluation of the facility at which time the details for your winery can be laid out. Should you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Regards, Rabbi Nahum Rabinowitz Senior Rabbinic Coordinator S P R I N G 2 0 0 7 / / 25


// OUCOMPANIESSPEAK

FOR THE LADY AND GENTLEMAN WHO LOVE FINE CHOCOLATE IN LIQUEUR FORM,

GODIVA IS THE PRODUCT FOR YOU ”Our goal is to share the >>

decadent Godiva experience with everyone who craves instant gratification, and our

OU kosher status allows us to do just that.” FOR THOSE WHO LOVE their OU certified Godiva Chocolatier collections, the luxurious indulgence and quality they are renowned for are available in liqueur form as well, with Godiva Liqueurs also carrying the famed OU symbol. Offered in five different variations, every drop of Godiva Liqueur is pure palate pleasure—whether it’s served simply over ice, in a rich cocktail, or as a sumptuous topping on ice cream. Godiva Original Chocolate Liqueur offers a sublime ultra-velvety dark taste. Godiva Milk Chocolate Liqueur is liquid bliss, a must-have for any chocoholic. Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur is an entrancing blend of Dairy Maid cream and rich Dutch cocoa, with the delicate taste of white chocolate, smoothed to creamy perfection. Godiva Mocha Liqueur combines the delightful coffee-and-steamed-milk taste of the top cappuccinos with the velvety extravagance of the world’s finest chocolate. And the latest addition to >> CONTINUED ON PAGE 40

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>> ”All

‘i’s were dotted and ‘t’s crossed to assure that when the OU symbol appeared on our product labels

we had covered the bases and it meant it had to be good!” << COTT CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21

I’ve since moved to a different area of equal importance — Regulatory Affairs. Not only must we develop a product that’s pleasing and refreshing to drink, we must also be certain of its compliance with beverage regulations. The Food and Drug Administration provides guidelines for what is acceptable for human consumption and how beverages may be presented to the consumer. Behind the scenes we have the Regulatory Compliance group working to merge taste and appearances into a gov-

KATHRYN BUNDY For more than 30 years, the majority spent at Royal Crown Company, and in positions such as laboratory assistant and technician; staff chemist/project leader; manager of consumer and regulatory affairs; manager of product implementation and regulatory affairs; and regulatory affairs analyst, Kathryn Bundy of Columbus, GA has been deeply involved in the finer points of food production. Her experience encompasses milk products, beverages and soft drinks, among other products. Kathryn has studied micro-computers and chemistry, spent six years in Germany as a military wife, promoted RC Cola during the 1996 Olympic Games in Columbus, GA, and among her many community affiliations, served as President of Edgewood United Methodist Women. She is the mother of “two wonderful daughters” and has “one fantastic grandson.”

ernment-regulated and approved product. At this time the OU symbol is on the package and represents the integrity of each step of the development and manufacturing process. Yet, the story doesn’t end there. International visitors come to America and taste some delicious, refreshing beverages and want these beverage types to be produced in their country too. So we go back to the flavor chemist and start the development process over for each country. There are challenges in the innovation of flavor compositions because differences in cultures may influence the development of beverage formulas. It can be a challenge to provide a similar beverage consumed and enjoyed while in the United States to taste exactly the same as when produced in a foreign country. Local government regulations must be observed and many countries have their own regulations which may be different from the regulations in America. In an effort to meet the demand of a particular market while also following the requirements set by a government authority, it may be necessary to slightly alter the original beverage formulation. The teamwork we share with the Orthodox Union is what ultimately helps us get the job done and provide customers around the world with great tasting beverages! Together we provide kosher approved products that are of the highest quality, while meeting the requirements mandated by each country. K AT H RY N B U N D Y I S A RE GU L AT ORY A N A LYS T F O R C O T T BEVER A GES .

S P R I N G 2 0 0 7 / / 27


For Goodness Sakes

TAKARA SAKE USA BRIDGES CULTURAL DIVIDE BY BECOMING OU KOSHER

Anytime you take on the task of persuading one culture that has its own treasured traditions to embrace the tradition of another distinctly different culture, you had better buckle in for the ride, as it is bound to be a long and bumpy road. The people at Takara Sake USA know this in a way that only first-hand experience can teach, as it is exactly what they have been doing since their main brand of sake, Sho Chiku Bai, was introduced into the American market.

28 / / B E H I N D T H E U N I O N S Y M B O L


>> ”We

wanted to offer a good product that consumers would know was of high quality at a glance, even before taking the first sip. The Orthodox Union was the natural choice for us, since some of our food manufacturing clients already swore by OU certified ingredients.”

AT TAKARA, THE TRADITIONAL AND THE MODERN COMBINE TO PRODUCE HIGH QUALITY SAKE B Y R A B B I G AV R I E L P R I C E

Established in 1982 in Berkeley, California, Takara Sake USA is now the top selling producer of sake (Japanese “rice wine”) in the United States. The superior water obtained from pure Sierra Nevada Mountains snow melt and premium rice grown in the fertile Sacramento Valley combine perfectly with the San Francisco Bay Area’s moderate climate to create ideal conditions for sake production. It is a recipe for successful sake-making that leaves no wonder as to why Takara Sake USA has captured the heart, and discerning palate, of America. But the story did not end with the happy “East meets West” marriage between the acclaimed sake manufacturer and the United States. The plot only thickened when Takara Sake USA made the then-unusual decision to go kosher. “Sake was of course a tiny niche item at the time, and we knew the only way to expand was to adapt to the lifestyles of the United States,” explains Sake Master Seizaburo Kawano. “At the same time, we wanted to stay true to authentic Japanese sake. For us, the decision to become certified kosher was not so we could charge more for our product or be the first major sake producer to offer kosher products in the U.S. It was about adjusting to the demands of the

Although the production facility at Takara Sake is modern, the process for making sake is traditional. Sake is rice wine, and to develop the delicate flavor profile that reflects high quality sake, considerable care must be given to maintaining the long-perfected methods that Takara Sake brought over from Japan. The process starts out with steamed rice, which is fermented using a Japanese method that induces the rice grains to yield desired flavor notes. Traditional sake does not have any additional flavors other than those native to rice. The finished product is crisp, clean, and powerful. Takara Sake has added to its traditional sake product line apple, lychee, and other flavors. It is often evident that the care and commitment a company gives to its kosher program is an indicator of the overall quality of a production program. The seriousness, dedication, and respect that Takara Sake has given to the OU reflect the reverence they have, in general, for principled manufacturing practices. Rabbi Noach Vogel, a veteran OU representative from San Jose, CA, has been visiting Takara Sake on behalf of the OU for nearly ten years. “The staff is always very cooperative” he says. “They are dedicated to making sure that our requirements are met, and are prompt to show me whatever I need to see.” The conference room is unlike any conference room a person is likely to find in the United States. It is a Japanese tea and sake drinking room, and it is light, airy and conducive to agreement and creativity. It overlooks the unrelenting activity of the bottling area. To get to the conference room, one must pass through the Sake Museum, which is probably the only one of its kind in the United States — indeed, we recommend visiting this public museum should any BTUS readers happen to find themselves vacationing or otherwise visiting sunny Berkeley, CA. Anthony Johnson has done a remarkable job as a translator, go-between, and overall coordinator of the program. During one discussion with the production staff, we picked up an important Japanese word. As Mr. Johnson translated what I had been saying, he kept saying “oh-yu.” The expression was peppering his translation with the staff. I was puzzled, because I had not, in my presentation, mentioned the OU so many times; I had only been talking about kosherization. Finally, I asked him: Why do you keep saying “OU”? He thought for a moment, trying to figure out what I was talking about. “Oh,” he said, “‘oh-yu’ means ‘hot water.’ I didn’t mean OU.” R A B B I G AV R I E L P R I C E S ERV ES A S ORT H ODOX U N ION RA B BINIC C O OR DI NAT O R F O R TA KA RA S A KE, A S W EL L A S F OR T H E V I NEGA R A ND T R A NS P ORTAT I O N INDU S T R IE S. H E S P EC I A L IZ E S I N ING RED I EN T RE S EA RC H.

>> CONTINUED S P R I N G 2 0 0 7 / / 29


>> “With

the clientele at kosher Japanese restaurants steadily increasing, and many non-Jewish consumers recognizing the mark as a sign that the products are safe and reputable,

the OU symbol has proven indispensable.”

<< SAKE CONTINUED

ANTHONY JOHNSON Anthony Johnson joined the Takara family in the middle of 1999. After spending years studying abroad and working in Japan and Taiwan, the diverse environment at Takara Sake USA provided the perfect atmosphere for keeping up his hard-earned language skills and cross-cultural interests. Not to mention, it was located in his hometown, Berkeley, California. Initially in charge of the order desk, after about a year Mr. Johnson became Export Manager, Legal Manager and was put in charge of both kosher and organic programs. “I’m in the town where I grew up. I get to practice Japanese and Chinese with co-workers. On top of that, I have unlimited access to delicious sake! I feel very lucky,” Mr. Johnson said.

American consumer. We wanted to offer a good product that consumers would know was of high quality at a glance, even before taking the first sip. The Orthodox Union was the natural choice for us, since some of our food manufacturing clients already swore by OU certified ingredients.” Adds Anthony Johnson, Kosher Coordinator & Export Manager, “Quality has always been of utmost importance to Takara Sake, and is part and parcel of the success of our sake-making tradition. The amazing thing about going kosher is that we often find that compliance with OU regulations is to a large extent in line with our own commitment to providing products of excellent quality. Acquiring OU kosher certification was in essence a matter of adding another level of product integrity that our customers can see and trust whenever they purchase our certified sake and mirin (sweet cooking sake) products.” According to Senior Sales Manager Robert Craig, “Takara Sake USA also participates in an organic certification program. I think that kosher and organic are two themes that to a degree are associated in the minds of

many consumers. Although being kosher certified does not mean organic nor does it alone satisfy requirements for organic certification, healthminded consumers regardless of their religion value both kosher and organic products for similar reasons: health and quality. With the ever-increasing market for organic products, I believe that many customers also feel comfortable with kosher certified products. This is reflected in the way that some mainstream grocery stores have incorporated into their lineup not only organic goods, but kosher certified items as well,” he said. “The Jewish population represents a loyal customer base for us,” declared Vice President Yasuhisa Tanaka. “With the clientele at kosher Japanese restaurants steadily increasing, and many non-Jewish consumers recognizing the mark as a sign that the products are safe and reputable, the OU symbol has proven indispensable.” It is important to note, adds Anthony Johnson, Kosher Coordinator & Export Manager, that not all sake sold around the world is kosher. “This may sound like an obvious fact to most readers, but there are many people, including some who are Jewish, who assume that to be the case.” “Several years ago, I was at Kosherfest in New York representing >> CONTINUED ON PAGE 42

30 / / B E H I N D T H E U N I O N S Y M B O L


No More Free Lunches WITH NO MORE FREE LUNCHES (OR BREAKFASTS AND DINNERS) IN THE SKIES, OU CALLS ON DOMESTIC AIRLINES TO PROVIDE KOSHER MEALS AND SNACKS FOR PURCHASE; WILL WORK CLOSELY WITH CARRIERS TO BRING KOSHER ITEMS ON BOARD BY STEPHEN STEINER IN ITS RO L E A S “the premier source for all kosher needs,” and in response to complaints by travelers that kosher food is no longer an option on domestic flights, the Orthodox Union Kosher Division today called on eight major domestic airlines to make kosher meals and snacks available for purchase on their flights, just as the airlines offered a kosher option when meals were included in the cost of a ticket. Since the airlines stopped providing the free meals, kosher passengers either must

>> ”Recently,

many consumers, who are frequent airline travelers, approached us to see if we can find a way to make kosher certified meals and snacks available for purchase.”

bring meals on board with them, or have nothing to eat on flights, even those of transcontinental length. The airlines contacted are American, Continental, Delta, JetBlue, Northwest, Southwest, United and US Airways. The OU has volunteered to work closely with the airlines in making the kosher food available, including providing the carriers with the names and pertinent information about OU certified caterers and snack manufacturers that could supply their planes. In a letter to Vice Presidents for Food Services and other company officials, Rabbi Eliyahu Safran, Senior Rabbinic Coordinator and Vice President for Communications and Marketing of OU Kosher, noted that for decades, the OU has provided “reliable kosher certification of airline meals

and snacks.” He added, “As the world’s largest and most respected kosher certification agency, the Orthodox Union certifies more than 400,000 products manufactured in 6,000 plants around the world. It is our symbol, the OU, that you see on so many consumer products in supermarkets today.” Rabbi Safran noted in his letter, “Recently, many consumers, who are frequent airline travelers, approached us to see if we can find a way to make kosher certified meals and snacks available for purchase on those routes where this is the only option. We are well aware,” he added, “of the financial considerations that have made this policy so prevalent. But kosher consumers, who are equally willing to purchase food items, have been left >> CONTINUED S P R I N G 2 0 0 7 / / 31


OUKOSHER

LIST OF SNACKS

>> “The

kosher market is enormous, it is expanding by 15 percent every year, and much of this growth is fueled by those who are not Jewish, but who purchase kosher food because of its high quality and its iconic brand names. Kosher at 35,000 feet will be every bit as popular as kosher in the supermarket.”

CHIPS Herr’s Wise Snyder’s Utz Lays Bachman Frito Lay Pringles PRETZELS Bagel/Bagel Pretzel Chips (Produced by Unilever)

Bon Ton Flipz Anderson Fisher Rold Gold Utz Bachman Benzel's PEANUTS Star Snacks Durey-Libbey Fisher Nut Planter's American Nuts POPCORN Dale & Thomas Poppycock BISCOTTI Deb & Ken's Falcone's Cookieland Mama Says Joseph Schmidt Confections ANIMAL CRACKERS Kedem Keebler Vitarros Nabisco GRANOLA/FRUIT &GRAIN BARS Quaker Oats Fisher Nuts Nature's Goodness Clif Bars Nabisco PREPARED MEALS Borenstein Caterers Weiss Cuisine Fusion Caterers Milmar 32 / / B E H I N D T H E U N I O N S Y M B O L

<< SNACKS CONTINUED

with no option, as kosher meals and snacks are not available on your airline.” “The OU seeks to share its expertise with you in order to assure that all passengers are truly able to equally enjoy meals or snacks on your airline,” Rabbi Safran wrote. In an interview, Rabbi Safran noted that kosher flyers must prepare or purchase food before leaving for the airport, pass it through security where it is x-rayed, and bring it on board with the rest of their carry-on belongings, while non-kosher passengers have no such requirements. “It puzzles me why the airlines, which for so many years routinely provided kosher meals as an option — along with vegetarian and other special needs — eliminated kosher when they established the policy of on-board food purchase. But now is their opportunity to make up

for this oversight, and the Orthodox Union will do everything possible to assist them in meeting the needs of the kosher passenger,” he declared. Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher, expressed his belief that given the growing popularity of kosher products among non-Jews — particularly products carrying the OU symbol — that providing kosher food would satisfy a wide range of passengers. “The kosher market is enormous, it is expanding by 15 percent every year, and much of this growth is fueled by those who are not Jewish, but who purchase kosher food because of its high quality and its iconic brand names. Kosher at 35,000 feet will be every bit as popular as kosher in the supermarket,” Rabbi Genack said. STEPHEN STEINER IS DIR EC T OR OF P U BL IC RELAT ION S AT T H E ORT HODO X U NION.


<< CONTINUED FROM PAGE 16

kosher tradition and heritage among younger Jews (“Born Again Kosher — Kosher Foods Marketing,” Prepared Foods. August 1992). Another primary segment includes Seventh Day Adventists, Muslims following a Halal diet, vegetarians and food allergic or sensitive consumers who seek out kosher foods because of the strict guidelines by which they must be produced. Additional growth can be linked to present-day concerns for the safety and reliability of the food supply. Traceability, while only more recently a priority for food manufacturers by the FDA, is already established as an inherent part of the kosher certification process. Consider also that only the manufacturers of OUcertified products can affix labels bearing the OU symbol to their products. This eliminates an opportunity for a loose label to be applied to the wrong product by someone outside of the production facility.

>> “Harlan

has heard the voice of the consumer, and thanks in great part to the Orthodox Union, it has successfully achieved its mission of growth through quality. The industry has recently acknowledged the company’s efforts. In September of 2006, Harlan was named Wholesale Baker of the Year by Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery Magazine.”

While the convenience and quality of the goods they purchase continue to remain important considerations to consumers of baked goods, the demand for healthy, all natural and whole grain products is on the rise (source: MarketResearch.com). Unlike the temporary craze for lowcarb options that took the country by storm in the new millennium, the overall trend towards all natural, betterfor-you foods is here to stay. Manufacturers and retailers of baked goods are responding to the demands for healthful, kosher baked goods by offering new and/or improved products that include whole grains, all natural and organic ingredients and offer convenience to the consumer. Furthermore, these improvements and innovations are being communicated to consumers through more informative packaging and in a growing number of advertisements. Harvest’s Best™ All Natural Granola is among a series of new health-conscious products from Harlan that addresses many of the varying wants and needs of today’s consumers. This product combines the healthy goodness of oats, cashews, cranberries and other delicious all-natural ingredients to form a great snack that can be eaten onthe-go. Consumers will also note that the product is certified by the OU as kosher dairy. Harlan has heard the voice of the consumer, and thanks in great part to the Orthodox Union, it has successfully achieved its mission of growth through quality. The industry has recently acknowledged the company’s efforts. In September of 2006, Harlan was named Wholesale Baker of the Year by Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery Magazine. Harlan was a winner in the growth category at the Indiana Entrepreneurial Awards of Distinction, sponsored by the Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship in October of the same year. In November of 2006, Harlan received its ninth consecutive “Superior” rating for its Avon, Indiana production facility by the American Institute of Baking. As Harlan Bakeries, Inc. strategizes for future growth and success in the baking industry, quality and responsibility continue to be integral pieces in the foundation of its business. The advice, education and guidance of the Orthodox Union continue to be an important piece of this greater whole. For more information on the company, its history and achievements, visit www.harlanbakeries.com. DIANE NAGEL I S C OR P ORAT E M A RK ET I NG M A NA GER F OR HA R LA N BA KER I ES , I N C.

S P R I N G 2 0 0 7 / / 33


OU ANNOUNCES THAT ITS

Universal Kosher Database IS BEING MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC

THE UNIVERSAL KOSHER DATABASE , (UKD), a listing of thousands of certified products, has gone public, and suppliers and distributors who work with OU Kosher certified companies are the beneficiaries of the decision. Now they will be able to easily secure Letters of Certification, signed by OU Kosher CEO Rabbi Menachem Genack. Public UKD was designed to provide not only OU certified companies, but their suppliers and distributors, the ability to print the letters to show their own clientele that that their products meet OU Kosher standards. Public

>>“We

took this step because OU certified companies appreciated the ease with which they could print Letters of Certification to prove their kosher status on our OUdirect website.”

34 / / B E H I N D T H E U N I O N S Y M B O L

UKD contains only products certified by the OU and not other agencies. Only non-confidential certified products are listed. The database is not restricted to OU certified companies and is available at www.oukosher.org. In a letter to OU certified companies, Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of OU Kosher, wrote: “Public UKD is user friendly and will benefit OU certified companies, because your suppliers and distributors can now easily print kosher Letters of Certification at their convenience.” Rabbi Elefant explained in the letter, “We took this step because OU certified companies appreciated the ease with which they could print Letters of Certification to prove their kosher status on our OUdirect website. They expressed the wish to us that their suppliers and distributors have the same easy method of producing the letters. We were more than happy to develop Public UKD to respond to their requests, just as we look forward to their continued suggestions to make their relationship with OU Kosher even stronger and even more convenient.” In an interview, Rabbi Elefant declared, “As the premier kosher certification organization in the world, the OU’s primary goal is to service our clients who help us provide kosher food to the consumer.”


// continental

<< CONTINENTAL CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6

“Over the last fifteen years, quality assurance teams in Europe have had to face up to additional standards and they don’t view us as an imposition, >>

rather, just another quality standard they need in order to maintain their customers.”

dards. “I fly out on Sunday,” he says. “I then plane, train, taxi, and car my way around greater Europe and come home, If I’m lucky, on Thursday night—with my luggage.” He says traveling in Europe is anything but simple. “I’m on five or six flights a week, which means five or six sets of security to go through—and baggage doesn’t always follow one when one is taking two or three flights to get to one place.” Born in Scotland, Dr. Meyer manages to penetrate the language barrier. He readily admits to speaking English and “Scottish English” quite well, and gratefully “gets by” in German and French. In the course of a year he covers a lot of air space and cultural diversity, visiting Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, and Slavakian Republic. “I see new companies joining OU kosher all the time,” he says. “And those companies recommend OU certification to others. Over the last fifteen years, quality assurance teams in Europe have had to face up to additional standards and they don’t view us as an imposition, rather, just another quality standard they need in order to maintain their customers.” Since the demand for kosher certified food comes primarily from the U.S. and Israel, RFR’s are hard pressed to find the appropriate victuals on their journeys. RFR Rabbi Avrohom Schwartz, Dr. Meyer’s colleague and neighbor in Manchester, “takes his food with,” along with a heater to warm it. His portable food supply keeps expanding with his schedule. “OU certification in Europe is very strong and getting stronger,” he says. “It’s inevitable; they’re going to have to hire more RFR’s.” >> CONTINUED S P R I N G 2 0 0 7 / / 35


// AN INVITATION OU FEATURED COMPANIES

@ WWW.

OUKOSHER. ORG As part of the new www.OUKosher.org website, we are highlighting OU Kosher certified companies and brands as an “OU Featured Company.” Each featured company or brand on the website includes a corporate or product image, a description of the company, product, or brand, as well as a link to the company or brand website. If you are interested in having your company be one of our OU Kosher featured companies, please contact your Rabbinic Coordinator or Rabbi Eliyahu Safran, Vice President of Marketing, at safrane@ou.org, or 212.613.8115. Currently featured companies can be seen here: http://www.oukosher.org/ index.php/consumer/featured_ companies/

>> ”Our

RFR superstars know their business. Rabbi Hollander could change languages on the fly; he’ll be on the phone with a client from one country and then make a phone call in another language, going back and forth, and then turn around to me in English.”

<< CONTINENTAL CONTINUED

“Our RFR superstars know their business,” says Rabbi Rockove. “Rabbi Hollander could change languages on the fly; he’ll be on the phone with a client from one country and then make a phone call in another language, going back and forth, and then turn around to me in English. Dr. Meyer, who holds a doctorate in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, understands machinery perfectly.” The U.S./Europe time differential of five and six hours can prove challenging when special productions come in at the last minute. “The window of opportunity to speak is sometimes critical, especially in the winter, when Shabbat comes in earlier,” says Rabbi Rockove. “We depend on these RFR’s and they represent us very well over there.” Thanks to the steadily increasing kosher supervision within the European food industry, consumers are enjoying a veritable continental buffet on their kitchen tables, including OUcertified European fare of Spanish olive oil on their salads, Italian pasta, Scandinavian fish products, French wine, Godiva chocolates from Belgium, and a shot of Absolut vodka from Sweden. They’re also fortifying their daily diets with DSM (formerly Hoffmann-La Roche) vitamins from Switzerland. If kosher customers are buying, Europe will continue supplying. Rabbi Rabinowitz attributes Europe’s kosher certification growth to the expanding global food trade. “Kosher is a very important marketing tool and becoming more so,” he says. “We have been able to develop systems that work seamlessly with companies to provide kosher food in a way that isn’t costly — and that is, in fact, profitable. That’s the OU’s success in the U.S. and we are bringing that success to Europe.” B AY L A S H E VA B R E N N E R IS SENIOR WRITER IN THE OU COMMUNICATIONS A ND M A RKE T IN G DE PARTM EN T, A ND A F REQU EN T C ON T RI B U T O R T O T H IS P U BLIC AT IO N.

36 / / B E H I N D T H E U N I O N S Y M B O L


OU HONORS GEORGE WESTON BAKERIES’ BRANDS AT ANNUAL DINNER On the evening of May 20 at the Hilton New York, during its 109th Anniversary National Dinner, the Orthodox Union honored George Weston Bakeries’ brands Arnold, Thomas’, Entenmann’s and Freihofer’s with the OU National Kashrut Leadership Award. Accepting this prestigious honor on behalf of the brands was Fred Penny, Senior Vice President – General Manager (Entenmann’s/ Freihofer’s); Vince Melchiorre, Senior Vice President – Bread & Rolls (Arnold); and Pankaj Talwar, Vice President of Marketing (Thomas’). LEFT TO RIGHT: Terrence Augenbraun, Dinner Chairman; Vince Melchiorre, Fred Penny and Pankaj Talwar of George Weston Bakeries; Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO Kashrut Division, Dr. Steven Katz, Chairman, Kashrut Commission.

<< EDITOR’S LETTER CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

respondents who do not buy store brands said they would do so if the products had a preferred kosher certification symbol. And what is their preferred certification symbol? Jewish respondents named OU their top choice for ensuring the foods they buy meet the most stringent kosher standard. In fact, this group described the OU as “the standard” of kosher certification and purchases OU products over those

>> “This

study adds another layer of proof to what thousands of companies already know: the OU symbol is a powerful tool to boost product sales and to expand market reach.” with other symbols by a margin of four-to-one. Among non-Jews, OU was consistently a favorite, with lactose intolerant respondents choosing OU certified foods over other symbols by an impressive six-to-one margin. With recent incidents of food contamination and tampering shaking consumer confidence, it is telling to note that non-Jewish respondents perceive the OU symbol to signify the highest level of product safety and cleanliness.

In another section of the survey, participants ranked attributes such as familiarity, reliability, freshness, quality and taste by the importance they attach to them. They then rated six kosher symbols on how well they deliver these attributes. Here again, the OU symbol shined over its competitors. The OU was time and again ranked highest on all important consumer marketing and positioning criteria, including public awareness, reliability, trustworthiness, familiarity and purchase interest. With no other symbols coming close to the OU’s ratings, the strong competitive edge conferred on products bearing OU certification was further born out. This study adds another layer of proof to what thousands of companies already know: the OU symbol is a powerful tool to boost product sales and to expand market reach. In this age of heightened consumer interest in the content, quality and safety of the foods they eat, the confidence consumers place in the OU is a telltale sign that OU certification clearly enhances a company’s bottom line.

WHO ELSE AT YOUR COMPANY

(IN MANAGEMENT, MARKETING, PRODUCTION, SALES DEPARTMENTS)

MAY BENEFIT FROM RECEIVING BEHIND THE UNION SYMBOL?

R A B B I D R . E L I YA H U S A F R A N

DO LET US KNOW AT SAFRANE@ OU.ORG.

EDITOR-IN-CH I EF /V IC E P RE S ID EN T, COMMUNICAT I ON S A N D M A RK ET I N G, OU KOSHER

We will be pleased to add to our mailing list. S P R I N G 2 0 0 7 / / 37


Portable Sieme n s M ob i c t a b l e t - i n d u s t ri a l l a p t op, which is used t o o pe ra t e t h e fa c i l i ty wir e le s s l y.

”The OU hopes that DSP’s ultra-flexible kosher program >>

has contributed at least in small measure to the attractiveness of doing business with DSP – and of course, with OU Kosher.”

<< DSP CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11

Last winter, when Rabbi Levine braved his way to Reading through a snowstorm to supervise kosherization at DSP, he jokingly remarked, “If only I could do this from home.” Mr. James and his colleagues at the company replied in unison, “You can!” How so? Please keep reading. DSP’s computer system enables one logged in to the system to view the operation of every piece of equipment, with all details imaginable — temperatures, connections, holding information and more — all in blazing, highresolution color. It is most similar to watching a video of the plant’s operations. Whereas in most similar facilities the RFR must be present for kosherization, DSP has enabled Rabbi Levine to log in from home and to monitor the plant’s operations at any time. Thus, he can supervise kosherization from out of the plant and be as informed and involved as an RFR or plant operator on the production floor or in the operations room! Although Rabbi Levine normally supervises kosherization in person, he

occasionally — without prior notice — will log in from elsewhere as kosherization is about to begin, suddenly letting the DSP staff know that today’s supervision will be done on-line. And so the kosherization proceeds, with the RFR’s supervision and guidance, working together through each step with the plant staff, as if the RFR were there in person. There are many more aspects of DSP which are designed for optimum kosher-friendliness and usability. DSP has already attracted a major clientele, and the list is growing. The OU hopes that DSP’s ultra-flexible kosher program has contributed at least in small measure to the attractiveness of doing business with DSP — and of course, with OU Kosher.

R A B B I A N D R E W G O R D I M ER serves as Orthodox Union rabbinic coordinator for DSP. He specializes in certification of the dairy industry, managing the kosher programs of over 200 certified dairy plants. His OU “Kosher Tidbits” on various kosher dairy issues can be heard on OU radio, http://ouradio.org/ouradio/channel/C301.

FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK

HOW DIETRICH’S DAIRY BECAME DSP The Dietrich family started in the milk business in 1926 as Dietrich’s Dairy, a retail fluid milk products company. From that starting point, Dietrich’s Milk Products (DMP) was formed in 1952 to make milk powders. In 1969, Dietrich’s Dairy operations were discontinued and the family continued to own and operate DMP through 1998, at which point it was reorganized as an LLC (limited-liability company) with two large dairy cooperatives as equal partners with the family.

organic and non-organic, kosher pareve, kosher dairy and non-kosher conditions. Secondly, we designed for the flexibility to efficiently and safely process an ever growing list of food allergens. Finally, we incorporated a control system to allow us to accomplish all this work with a minimum of staff, yet still be able to provide adequate documentation that all processing, cleaning and kosherizing was completed according to established protocols.

Starting in 1990, Tom Dietrich and DSP’s key management and processing staff began to develop DSP’s specialty food ingredients processing business while at DMP. Since 1998, DMP’s two older dairy processing facilities and a growing need to focus energies and staff on supporting the unpredictable milk marketing activities of the dairy cooperatives made it very difficult and expensive to service the growing needs of this specialty processing business.

Kline Process Systems, Inc. (KPS) provided the design, equipment selection, process layout and automated process control systems for the DSP facility. (KPS was formed in 1990 and is jointly owned by Bob Kline and Tom Dietrich.) KPS provided a critical role in the development of these specialty processing capabilities for both DMP and DSP. In addition to creating the wireless process control environment for the facility, KPS staff created the ability for the OU to “remotely supervise” the processing and koshering activities.

DMP’s inability to adequately serve this market led to the formation of DSP in 2005. In many respects, DSP represents a logical evolution of the family’s role in the dairy and food ingredient spray drying industries. In choosing a site and planning the DSP facility, we designed to be able to efficiently shift between or simultaneously process under 38 / / B E H I N D T H E U N I O N S Y M B O L

DSP’s custom blending and spray drying capabilities include conventional and organic dairy powders, infant formula powders, sweetener powders, nutritional ingredients, soy powders, and meat, vegetable and dairy flavor powders. DSP can also produce conventional and organic fluid milk products and butter.


>> ”Yes

indeed, things have changed since the days when Adam was able to effortlessly enjoy the natural whole grain bread that grew forth from the earth.

In today’s day and age, eating ‘ natural’ involves great effort

<< GRANOLA CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13

Aside from the ingredients themselves, there are production issues that must be addressed before kosher certification is granted for the various granola products. Most notably in the case of granola bars and cookies, but at times too for granola cereals and snacks, there are wet ingredients that are cooked in a kettle creating a slurry that will subsequently be blended with the dry granola ingredients. Care must be taken to ensure that the kettles are used to cook only kosher approved ingredients listed on Schedule A. This would be the case also for any balance tanks, mixers and troughs that hold the hot slurry concoction along with all other lines and pumps they come in contact with. In addition, for pareve granola products, this same equipment would not be able to introduce dairy ingredients such as milk and whey powder that are often used in dairy granola bars and cookies. Varying kosher processing concerns may arise for the dry whole grain ingredients in granola bars, depending upon the type of granola bar. In the case of the traditional crunchy granola bar, the dry whole grains, nuts, dried fruit and honey are baked in an oven in order to give it a crunchy texture. Then the now crunchy dry whole grain ingredients are combined with the hot slurry. For these crunchy granola bars, whatever processing concerns there were for the wet granola ingredients will hold equally true for the oven baked dry granola ingredients. All relevant equipment such as mixer, depositor, sheeter, laminator, conveyors, oven and its bands, sheet pans and

racks must meet Schedule A specifications. In the case of the chewy granola bar, however, since quite often the whole grain ingredients are not baked at all in order to maintain a more chewy consistency, there would not be any related concerns with oven equipment. Still for those chewy granola bars where the dry whole grain ingredients are only partially baked, proper controls need to be implemented for the oven line as with the crunchy granola bar. Yes indeed, things have changed since the days when Adam was able to effortlessly enjoy the natural whole grain bread that grew forth from the earth. In today’s day and age, eating ‘natural’ involves great effort, as wholesome natural products such as granola are more costly and are not yet as in abundance as higher caloric foods. Those who have chosen to follow through with eating natural must be admired and commended for demonstrating tremendous discipline and willpower in showing mind over matter. We are blessed in this great country that American food manufacturers have heard the call of these natural aficionados and are making such natural and nutritious products as granola more accessible in supermarkets and grocery stores nationwide. These same food manufacturers have invested much in capital and ingredients to meet the exacting standards that are vital for making delicious and nutritious natural granola products. Our hats go off to such granola brand favorites as Kashi, Nature Valley, Back to Nature, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Quaker, Barbara’s Bakery, Baker’s Breakfast Cookie, Cherrydale Farms, Blue Planet Foods, Pecan Deluxe, Pennant, Sensible Edibles, Organic Milling, Kerry, Slim Fast, Harlan and more which have taken the lead in the natural food revolution. The aforementioned brands too have made another natural choice. They have chosen to proudly display the world’s premier kosher emblem on their product’s packaging. At the Orthodox Union, we are proud to have them among as part of growing family. These companies realize that the great effort expended in meeting the high standards of OU kosher certification, as with making natural granola products, is well worth it in terms of the benefits and profits accrued from larger market penetration. Who knows too, as natural food becomes more available, if companies will realize the miracle of whole grain bread growing forth from the ground as in the days of yesteryear. Rest assured, the Orthodox Union plans on being there to ensure the best in kosher natural products. RABBI YISROEL BENDELSTEIN became a rabbinic coordinator for the Orthodox Union in 2000, administrating the kosher program for many OU-certified commercial bakeries. He has contributed to Behind the Union Symbol, as well as to Jewish Action, the OU magazine. Rabbi Bendelstein frequently lectures to schools and synagogue groups as part of the “OU Kosher Coming to You” programs. His OURadio presentations on Orthodox Union issues and concerns in the baking industry are an important component of the “OU Kosher Tidbits” programs. S P R I N G 2 0 0 7 / / 39


<< GODIVA CONTINUED FROM PAGE 26

this opulent collection of liqueurs, which just made its debut in October, is Godiva Caramel Milk Chocolate Liqueur, which delivers the essence of Godiva Milk Caramel Embrace chocolate, a long-time company best seller. Godiva Liqueurs are a product of Diageo North America, which has a close relationship with the OU. “Godiva Liqueur offers pure indulgence with each of its five flavor variations,” says Jennifer Long, Senior Brand Manager, Godiva Liqueur. “Our goal is to share the decadent Godiva experience with everyone who craves instant gratification, and our OU kosher status allows us to do just that.”

POST THE OU LOGOON

YOUR WEBSITE Post the OU logo — one of the world’s best-known symbols of added attention to quality — on your website. Ask Suzanne Beck at BeckS@ou.org or Aviva Stadler at stadlera@ou.org to send you a beautiful, hi-res OU logo.

RABBI YAAKOV MEND E L S O N S ER V E S AS ORTHODOX UNION RABBINIC C O O RD INATOR FOR DIAGEO NORTH AMERICA.

<< SURVEY CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 >>

OU is the symbol most often on the food purchased by respondents by a 3 to 1 margin.

>>

Respondents named OU as the symbol they would select as their first choice to purchase by a margin of more than 2 to 1.

>>

Consumers’ overall opinion of OU certification is significantly higher than for all other certification symbols.

>>

By a 2 to 1 margin, OU is the symbol that comes to mind when a respondent is asked to think of kosher certification.

>>

Kosher-observant Jews perceive OU to be “the standard” of kosher certification, and purchase OUcertified products over products with other certifications by a 4 to 1 margin.

Jewish and non-Jewish consumers who purchase kosher food on occasion perceive the OU symbol as standing for the safest and cleanest foods. “This study confirms the tremendous value of kosher certification in general, and of OU certification in particular,” agrees Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Chief Operating Officer of OU Kosher. “These findings clearly show that the >>

40 / / B E H I N D T H E U N I O N S Y M B O L

>> ”This

study clearly demonstrates that whether they’re Jewish or non-Jewish, averse to eating meat or dairy, or simply want a healthy lifestyle, consumers reach for the OU before other kosher symbols to meet their dietary needs.” OU is the symbol most widely recognized and trusted by consumers, and demonstrates the power of OU certification as a highly marketable tool.” “No longer just gefilte fish and matzoh, kosher has long been mainstream in terms of the range of certified products available. Now we know that the OU certification is mainstream as well in terms of the diverse mix of consumers who actively seek it out. This study clearly demonstrates that whether they’re Jewish or non-Jewish, averse to eating meat or dairy, or simply want a healthy lifestyle, consumers reach for the OU before other kosher symbols to meet their dietary needs,” said OU Senior Rabbinic Coordinator and Marketing and Communications Vice President Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran.


>>“These

flavors are produced at their own OU supervised facilities, with the company thereby working together with the Orthodox Union

to obviate the two thorniest problems in the production of kosher liqueur.”

<< BRANDY CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25

Liqueurs are generally produced by mixing alcohol, sugar or corn syrup, and flavorings. In addition to the problems mentioned earlier, there can be concerns with the alcohol itself. The alcohol may be derived from wine (some European countries have an excess of wine), which can

RABBI YAACOV MENDELSON A native of Montreal, Rabbi Yaacov Mendelson received his post high school education in New York City and Israel. He studied at the famed Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva, in Queens, NY and Jerusalem, and received the advanced rabbinic ordination of Yadin Yadin. He also holds a BA in Political Science from Queens College, City University of New York, and a Master’s Degree in Rabbinic Literature from Yeshiva University. Rabbi Mendelson joined the Orthodox Union as rabbinic coordinator in 1985, servicing various industries including dairy, cereal and condiments. He has been instrumental in bringing about agreement among major kosher certifying agencies on standards of kashrut of the dairy industry. Currently Rabbi Mendelson coordinates many companies in the alcoholic beverage industry, including Diageo’s Godiva liqueurs. Rabbi Mendelson has occupied pulpits in New York and Connecticut, and has served as spiritual leader of Congregation Bikur Cholim, in Bridgeport CT, where he lives, for the past two decades. Rabbi Mendelson and his wife, Rashi (nee Zwick) have four children and 12 grandchildren.

only be kosher if produced in a controlled kosher process. In certain parts of Europe, alcohol is produced from whey, a by-product of the cheesemaking process. Whey poses kosher concerns of its own. In addition, it is a dairy product. Since kosher law precludes the consumption of milk and meat together and liqueur is often used in conjunction with a meat meal, the possibility of dairy-derived alcohol is of significant concern. In the United States, the type of alcohol that would be used in the production of liqueur is known as grain neutral spirits, or GNS, and it generally does not have kosher concerns. Nevertheless, companies sometimes blend non-kosher grape wine with GNS to produce OTS (other than standard) wine, which is then used as a component for liqueurs. In addition to the above, glycerin is often used as a sweetener and emulsifier in liqueur. Glycerin is often produced from animal fat and requires kosher certification. Finally, coloring agents may be added, and they would have to be certified kosher as well. Diageo North America, manufacturers of the Godiva line, has a tradition of employing the highest quality standards in the industry. As a result, the company uses exclusively its own self-manufactured grain neutral spirits, as well as flavors they design themselves. These flavors are produced at their own OU supervised facilities, with the company thereby working together with the Orthodox Union to obviate the two thorniest problems in the production of kosher liqueur. Here is a wonderful example of how kashrut and quality combine to produce a world-renowned premier kosher beverage.

S P R I N G 0 7 / / 41


>>”Fortunately,

especially for those Jewish lovers of sake,

Takara Sake USA offers a wide range of officially certified kosher sake and mirin products and our list is growing.” << SAKE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 30

Takara Sake USA,” Mr. Johnson explained. “While there, I was approached by a number of Jewish attendees who had been under the impression that sake is automatically kosher. Of course this is an incorrect assumption, as I have learned from our visiting rabbis. It is true that the

POPULAR OU CERTIFIED ITEMS

Sho Chiku Bai Sake Ginjo Sake Nigori Sake Silky Mild Nigori Crème de Sake Hana Flavored Sake: Lychee, Fuji Apple, Raspberry. Organic Nama Sake Takara Mirin and many others.

42 / / B E H I N D T H E U N I O N S Y M B O L

main materials — rice and water — generally are not restricted by kosher laws. However, sake production involves much more than that, including various processing aids: lactic acid, refining agents, and depending on the product, flavor essences, and so on. “In addition, when a manufacturer produces both kosher and nonkosher items, a very common situation, cleaning and operation procedures must be carried out in compliance with kosher laws. Fortunately, especially for those Jewish lovers of sake, Takara Sake USA offers a wide range of officially certified kosher sake and mirin products and our list is growing.” Whether you’re looking for the moderately sized Nigori Crème de Sake, which at 300 ML gives you just enough to serve at a romantic dinner for two, or you need the 18L sized Sho Chiku Bai Classic for your restaurant, Takara Sake USA boasts a wide range of kosher products that satisfy the taste buds and an insistence on quality. Next time you’re in the Bay Area, be sure to stop by our tasting room and sake museum where you can sample these exquisite sake products and their rich history. R A B B I G AV RIEL PRICE SERVES A S O RT HOD OX UN I O N R A BBIN IC C OO R DI N ATOR F O R TA KA R A S A K E U SA.


>> ”This

study clearly demonstrates that whether they’re Jewish or non-Jewish, averse to eating meat or dairy, or simply want a healthy lifestyle,

consumers reach for the OU before other kosher symbols to meet their dietary needs.” << CABOT CONTINUED FROM PAGE 18

words, many types of consumers are seeking out kosher foods, and they are willing to pay for this quality seal. Manufacturers should heed this data and offer kosher consumers more variety. “It is estimated that fewer than one-third of consumers who buy kosher are Jewish,” says Rabbi Eliyahu Safran, vice president of communications and marketing with the OU. “Other kosher consumers include Muslims, Seventh Day Adventists, vegetarians, people with various types of allergies and consumers who simply value the quality of kosher products.” According to an annual kosher food company survey conducted by Lubicom LLC, a marketing consulting company based in Brooklyn, NY, kosher food companies are growing at a rate of 10 percent to 15 percent. Supporting this research was the number of exhibitors featuring kosher foods and beverages at the 2007 Anuga food show in Cologne, Germany. This figure increased substantially since

Anuga 2005, rising from 605 to 902. Held every other year in October, Anuga is the world’s largest food show. It’s where food and beverages marketers go to be recognized. It’s where trends are born. This year there were more than 6,607 exhibiting companies from 95 countries. For many, kosher is a very important element in their marketing program. In the States, food and beverage marketers are finding that not all kosher labeling is created equal. A new survey indicates that the OU symbol is preferred by U.S. consumers. Jewish respondents consistently named OU their top choice for ensuring the food they purchase meets the most stringent

kosher certification, while non-Jews perceived the OU to signify the highest level of product safety and cleanliness. “This study confirms the tremendous value of kosher certification in general, and of OU certification in particular,” said Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Chief Operating Officer of OU Kosher. “These findings clearly show that the OU is the symbol most widely recognized and trusted by consumers, and demonstrates the power of OU certification as a highly marketable tool.” OU Senior Rabbinic Coordinator and Marketing and Communications Vice President Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran, concludes, “No longer just gefilte fish and matzoh, kosher has long been mainstream in terms of the range of certified products available. Now we know that the OU certification is mainstream as well in terms of the diverse mix of consumers who actively seek it out. This study clearly demonstrates that whether they’re Jewish or non-Jewish, averse to eating meat or dairy, or simply want a healthy lifestyle, consumers reach for the OU before other kosher symbols to meet their dietary needs.” The OU symbol, it’s a quality stamp for safety.

DONNA BERRY is an editor in the food formulating industry. She was on the staff of Dairy Foods for eight years, starting as technical editor and moving up to senior editor. In 2001 she opened her own consulting and communications firm, with Dairy Foods her largest client. She continues to write for Dairy Foods on the topics of new products, marketing, ingredients, packaging and technology, as well as for other nondairy publications and associations. Prior to Dairy Foods, Donna worked in product development at Kraft Foods for three years. She has a B.S. in Food Science from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and is a native of Chicago, where she currently resides with her husband, two sons and dog. Donna enjoys traveling, both domestically and abroad, and makes grocery store visits a priority in every city she visits, which enables her to stay on top of new product trends. Donna Berry Dairy & Food Communications, Inc. 3213 N. Washtenaw Ave., Suite 100 Chicago, IL 60618. Office: 312/656-6453fax: 773/463-4673 Check me out on the web at www.dairyfoods.com. S P R I N G 2 0 0 7 / / 43


OU KOSHER VIDEO— THE SEQUEL >> If

you liked the first OU Kosher Video, you’ll love the second one, “The Kosher Standard.”

Here in 20 minutes is everything you need to know about the procedures and requirements necessary to produce an OU Kosher product, and how to design an effective system at your company. Recommended for personnel in management, production and quality control and for in-house training. TO ORDER EXTRA COPIES CALL 212. 613. 8115 EMAIL SAFRA NE @ OU KOSHER.ORG VISIT WW W. OU. OR G

IS THERE ANYONE ELSE AT YOUR COMPANY (IN MANAGEMENT, MARKETING, PRODUCTION) WHO SHOULD BE RECEIVING A COPY OF BEHIND THE UNION SYMBOL? Do let us know at safrane@ou.org. We will add to our mailing list. . . .

FOR APPLICATIONS TO CERTIFY NEW COMPANIES OR ADDITIONAL PLANTS, call Suzanne Beck at the OU Applications Desk, 212.613.8372 or email safrane@ou.org

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