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New York…Mayer Gold will focus on service as he takes the reigns of the newly acquired Supersol kosher supermarket in the thriving Jewish neighborhood of Kew Garden Hills. In an interview with Tova Ross of Kosher Today, Gold said that his special relationship with his customers is already on display with a rare invitation to help name the supermarket. The winner of the contest will receive $100 of groceries each week for a year, over a $5,000 value. Gold, who previously served as manager at Pomegranate as well as other kosher supermarkets in Brooklyn and Queens, said that he has even asked customers to pick the items that they would like to see on shelves. “We will not be stocking our shelves based exclusively on the advice of product salesman and vendors, but also on the advice of our valued customers,” Gold told Ross. He is passionate about his latest venture. “I have partnered with some fellow food gourmands to put this project together, and in addition to being an owner, I will also be acting as the General Manager. I believe that my greatest qualifier is the effort I put into vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and attitudes of my customers. I shop in my own stores, and take people’s shopping lists to do trial runs, noting the ease or difficulty of finding products, and where aisles are getting congested with carts and how product placement may be the cause. I’ve waited on line in my own stores during different times of the day and week to experience what my customers do.” The contest for the name of the supermarket, which has thus far generated 2000 responses, ends on Friday, which will begin a new era for Gold.
New York…Sales of gluten-free products in some kosher supermarkets has risen by nearly 15%, reflecting a dramatic increase in the consumption of the gluten-free products. Many of the stores say that the sales are not necessarily to people who suffer from Celiac disease, but others who seek to avoid the wheat for a variety of reasons. One storeowner said that doctors are recommending the gluten-free diet as a general prescription for health and well-being. Israel too is in the midst of an explosion of the gluten-free products with some major supermarkets designating specific aisles for the products. At least one new store dedicated to gluten-free recently opened in the Tel Aviv harbor area. The global gluten-free market is set to grow by $1.2 billion over the next five years, to reach $4.3 billion by 2015, according to recent research by Datamonitor. Research by the independent market analyst company expects the U.S. market for gluten-free products to grow by more than $500 million by 2014, making the U.S. contribution to the global market a staggering 53 percent. In its 2007 report on new products, the Mintel Research Organization, a leading consumer goods research organization, reported that while ‘Kosher’ was the most frequently used claim on new products launched in the US during 2007, many of those products were in the special categories of gluten-free, ‘All Natural’ and ‘No Additives or Preservatives. For kosher consumers looking for gluten-free, the offerings have more than doubled in just the past two years. Several Pizza stores have begun to sell gluten-free kosher pizza as have bakeries with a growing number of pastries. The growing interest in gluten-free will also be in evidence at the upcoming Kosherfest in October. Mainstream kosher manufacturers and distributors say that they are “regularly adding gluten-free items.”