In the 90’s, kosher food was nearly impossible to find in the former Soviet Union. It was available at very high prices in select specialty stores near synagogues. Those who kept kosher had to import most of their food from the United States and Israel.
Today, supermarkets across Russia and the rest of the FSU, have a large selection of kosher products. A typical customer will fill his cart with many kosher certified products unintentionally. This is great news for the kosher consumers of the region. Not only are kosher products more accessible, but there is also a tremendous variety and the price is comparable to that of non-kosher products.
This year, for the fifth year in a row, the ‘Kosher Food’ booth was one of the most popular booths at the ‘ProdExpo’ in Moscow, Russia, which is one of the largest industry events in Eastern Europe. Products that garner popularity at this exposition are the most likely to hit the shelves in the upcoming year. The booth is brought to the expo by the Kashrut department of the Russian Rabbinate, who have found that this exposition has brought great success to their marketing of kosher certified products.
The expo is filled with marketers and distributors who are responsible for choosing which products will be available in supermarkets and restaurants.
“Our goal is to make kosher products accessible to any Jewish person who would like to purchase them,” said Rabbi Berel Lazar, Chief Rabbi of Russia.
The hope is that kosher consumers will be able to fill their carts with everything from candy, to alcohol, to meat products and packaged foods without thinking twice about the convenience and price.