Monday, September 26, 2005

Young, poor -- and occasionally kosher

A new survey [unfortunately, it doesn't say what the criteria was for interviewing people] shows that "Younger and lower-income consumers are behind the growth in sales of kosher foods":
Of those respondents who said they "buy kosher occasionally," 70 percent were between the ages of 18 and 34. Further, 67 percent of those occasional kosher shoppers had annual salaries of less than $30,000 a year.
What do we make of this?
The younger shoppers also outpaced all other age groups in thinking that kosher foods were healthier and safer. Younger shoppers also said they were choosing kosher due to a desire for vegetarian and dairy-free items, and the need for a product list consistent with halal, the system of slaughtering animals in accordance with Muslim law. This was also true of those who earned less than $30,000.
We already knew that Muslims, veggies and health eaters were big consumers of kosher food. What's interesting here is the low-income factor, which I would associate primarily with the vegetarians; this source, for example, says that "vegetarians were significantly more likely to be of low income status" whilst this one explains that "In many areas, people are vegetarians because of inadequate income"; I would also assume lots of poor students are veggies. In the UK, Muslims are also relatively low-income, though I don't know what the situation is in North America. All this, of course, is counter-intuitive for us, as kosher food is generally perceived by practising Jews as more expensive and a (relatively) rich man's choice; but most of the consumers talked about here are only buying the occasional kosher product so it never really adds up and presumably the perception isn't shared.

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