By: Jake Tewel
Recently, Kayco which is the name of a New Jersey-based company bought out the Manischewitz Company. The Manischewitz Company has been around the kosher wine market since 1888. We are all scratching our heads, wondering exactly who bought out whom and what do these companies do, and why should anyone care. Has anyone reading this, even heard of these companies?
Well, many years ago I worked for Kedem, as a distributor of kosher wines.
Kedem Wines is a small part of Kayco, a family-owned company, that is the result of the merger of Kedem, Kenover Marketing Corporation, and B&W Foods. It was founded by the Herzog family and it sells and markets kosher wines and food products exclusively. The Herzog family began producing kosher wines in Slovakia in the middle of the 19th Century, becoming the wine supplier to Emperor Franz Joseph. Emperor Franz Joseph ruled the Austro-Hungarian Empire and, as legend has it, the patriarch was given the title Baron; hence Baron Herzog Wines.
After WWII, Eugene Herzog survived, made it to New York, and restarted the wine business. With the help of his children and grandchildren, it has evolved today to be one of the largest kosher food suppliers in the world with a portfolio of over 150 brands and is immensely profitable and popular.
The Manischewitz Company was started by Rabbi Dov Ber Manishchewitz in Ohio in 1888 and became a staple of kosher foods of the United States for generations.
Consumers who eat only kosher foods may be concerned about a possible monopoly. Media reports are saying that Kayco will now control 50% of the $24 Billion-dollar kosher food market. I think that a monopoly will not be a problem. I eat only kosher and have traveled extensively and I can go into any grocery store from Kroger to Trader Joes, in all 50 States and find kosher foods. The Orthodox Union puts its kosher (OU) logo on 800,000 products and the OU is only one of the numerous organizations that certify that food is kosher.
The kosher industry is just one of many who carry out a worldwide fight for shelf space in supermarkets and boutique stores. Some of these niche markets such as the kosher wine market are able to utilize external resources such as grants in order to get ahead of the competition. Some of these grants can be found on GrantWatch, and you can read up on other news on businesses using grants to help them get a leg ahead on the competition here.
Jake Tewel holds a master’s degree from YU, is a wine seller and caterer and a million-mile traveler for the past 15 years. Jake is a best friend, great neighbor, your go-to travel person, father, grandfather, and loving husband. He is now focusing his efforts on heart-healthy nutrition, exercise, and travel.