An internal memo dated July 29th 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 matza for his family and friends in Cincinnati, as previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2OpSwJb).
As demand for Manischewitz’s uniquely shaped square matza 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 matza 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.
In a statement released today, Menachem Lubinsky, founder of Kosherfest and editor of KosherToday.com, categorized today’s announcement as a positive development.
“Kayco has demonstrated strong leadership, creativity and dedication to the kosher food industry,” said Lubinsky. “Its commitment to preserve a legendary brand in the kosher market will be welcomed by thousands of kosher consumers who inherited the loyalty to the brand from previous generations. Kayco’s strong management team will no doubt help grow the brand as it has done with so many other brands.”
Alexander Rapaport, executive director of the Masbia Soup Kitchen Network, reported that his operation received record donations from both Kayco and Manischewitz in July 2019.
It is nice to see them growing and becoming one big company,” said Rapaport. “May the grow their food empire to new levels and continue to revolutionize kosher food in the merit of the charity they give and the food they provide for the needy.”