Food exports to US to grow 25%

Israeli food exports to the United States will likely total $74 million.

By the end of the year, Israeli food exports to the United States will likely total $74 million, representing 25 percent growth over 2004 levels, the Israel Exports Institute said Thursday. The US kosher food market presents "huge potential" for Israeli food exporters, IEI director general Yehiel Asia commented, noting that over the past six years, kosher food sales in the US have more than tripled, from $45 billion to $165b. In the first nine months of 2005, Israeli food exports to the US grew 30% to some $59m. In addition to observant Jews, kosher food buyers in the US include health-conscious consumers of all stripes, as well as observant Muslims. "The 'kosher' stamp on a food package ensures higher than average quality and a higher level of supervision on the production processes than the norm in the 'regular' food market," Asia said. The fact that kosher products are free of pork and pork derivatives of any kind makes them attractive to Muslim consumers. Forty Israeli food exporters participated in the Kosherfest food show Tuesday and Wednesday - held annually in New York City - including producers of vegetarian food, baked goods, specialties of different communities, candies and chocolates, wine, frozen products, honey, vegetables, oils, jams, and dairy products, the institute said. In total, more than 375 kosher food and drink producers presented their products to some 13,000 visitors to the fair, coming from more than 25 countries.