Yalla Giant Supermarket! These Are The Israeli Products We Want!

— by Ronit Treatman

Ani rotze Milky!

“Milky!  Tell them I want my Milky!” replied a two-year-old Israeli when asked what he wished he could buy here.  “Milky” is a chocolate pudding snack.  This child was a customer at the Wynnewood Genuardi’s kosher section.  Lower Merion Township is home to a large Jewish community, of which a sizeable subset is made up of Israelis. They are very well educated, affluent, and in the United States for continuing education or work. Like their Jewish American counterparts, they buy many of their kosher and specialty foods at Genuardi’s.  The acquisition of Genuardi’s by Giant Supermarkets is an opportunity for this Israeli community to express what it wishes was available in the kosher section. There are no definite statistics of the population size of Israelis in Lower Merion. I surveyed over 200 Israeli families in order to obtain these results.

More after the jump.
Israeli residents really miss their dairy products! One desperate father told me he spent an hour locating “Milky” pudding snacks for his shrieking toddler. “Milky” is a delicious chocolate pudding snack topped with whipped cream.  It is produced by the Strauss Company. All the Israeli adults I questioned crave imported cottage cheese from Tnuva. They also yearn for assorted types of Feta. These are staples of the Israeli diet.

In the last thirty years, Israel has seen the growth of kosher artisanal cheese producers. They turn out unique, very high quality cheeses. The Israeli consumers really desire them. The following companies are great sources of these cheeses.

Barkanit Dairy

  • Barkanit, Brakin Farm, Kfar Yechezkel, Israel, Telephone: 972-4-6531431

This dairy produces sheep and goat’s milk cheeses in Northern Israel. Barkanit’s cheese makers learned their craft in Spain and France. They are famous for their French-influenced fresh cheeses coated with ash, and firm, Spanish-inspired cheeses.

Gad Dairy

Located in Central Israel, Gad dairy crafts cheeses from the milk of cows, sheep, and goats. Among their coveted offerings are the Tsfafit (Safed) Cheese, Kashkaval, Syrian Haloumi style cheese, and Bulgarian Feta.

It was really difficult to conduct this survey. The Israeli community tends to remain almost invisible. Food is very important in the Israeli home, and Israeli customers are prepared to pay for quality. I hope that the management of Giant Supermarkets will take this demographic into account when planning their new store in Wynnewood. Israeli parents residing in Lower Merion and its environs will be eternally grateful!