Wednesday, January 22, 2020

(Vosizneias.com) The face of the kosher food world is about to change as word broke today that Kayco will be acquiring Manischewitz, a company that has been serving the Jewish community for 131 years.

An internal memo dated July 29 obtained by VIN News confirmed the deal, noting that an understanding had been reached between the two companies, with details to follow when the transaction is concluded in the near term. The deal will have Kayco, which includes Kedem Foods, Kenover Marketing and B&W Foods, taking over Manischewitz’s full line of products except for its Season Products brand.

Both companies have said that their businesses will continue operating as usual for now, with all outstanding commitments to be honored.

Manischewitz made its first foray into the commercial kosher food market in 1888 when Rabbi Dov Behr Manischewitz, a Lithuanian immigrant, began baking matzah for his family and friends in Cincinnati. As demand for Manischewitz’s uniquely shaped square matzah grew and machinery to produce the Passover staple improved, the operation soon spread to other markets and additional products.

The company remained family owned until 1990 and moved to its current offices in Newark in 2006, prompting then-mayor Cory Booker to say that having Manischewitz in his city made him “the proudest mayor in America,” adding, “it gives me great nachas.” The company shuttered its Newark manufacturing plant in 2014 and laid off 169 workers, saying that it would produce its products at a more modern facility located nearby.

Today, in addition to controlling a significant portion of the United States mass matzah market, Manischewitz has a product line that includes dozens of products including Tam Tam crackers, grape juice, wine, nut butters, borscht, candles and both frozen and jarred gefilte fish. Even its iconic macaroons have attempted to keep pace with the times, with classic offerings like coconut and almond sharing shelf space with trendy flavors including carrot cake, red velvet and rocky road.