Tel Aviv…by Idele Ross, Kosher Today Chief Middle East Correspondent…Ori Fastlich left Kosherfest with a bag of surprises he could not have envisioned when he signed up for his first appearance at the annual kosher food trade show that took place last month. His company Hamim VeTaim took Kosherfest honors in the New Products from Israel Division with its Vegetarian Hot Dog in a Blanket, which is marketed in the US by Blue and White Foods. The Israeli-born businessman also had no clue that his company’s product was a kosher version of the popular American “pigs in a blanket” until KT explained it to him. It subsequently appeared in several press reports. Fastlich said he was interested in perhaps creating kosher versions of other popular foods.
Fastlich told Kosher Today that it was his first time at Kosherfest although his company always sends several representatives. Hamim VeTaim’s products include falafel, potato turnovers, vegetarian egg rolls, meat filled cigars. They are sold primarily to Israel’s institutional food services: hotels, wedding halls and so on. Fastlich said sales totaled some one million dollars. A recent deal signed with Greek importers Veropoulos was based on the company Mediterranean line of appetizers. The Israel Export Institute reports that an initial order is for 50,000 Euros and Hamim VeTaim estimates orders will come to hundreds of thousands of Euros annually. Hamim VeTaim is located in the town of Holon near Tel Aviv and employs 150 people.