Asia has discovered Israeli-made matzah and many Israeli companies are exporting it to countries such as Japan and India for the first time in 2016.
Carolyn Nave, the food and beverage manager for The Israel Export Institute notes that the institute tries to reach any place where there is a Jewish community, and every year more and more countries import matzah from Israel. “Next month an Israeli food-tasting event will be held in Vietnam, ” Nave related excitedly. “An ‘Israel week’ will also be held in Japan next month in which matzot will be featured. The export of matzot to the Far East is picking up momentum.”
Tzvi Tzur, of Tzur Sochniyot, which exports, among other food items, hand-made matza, explains that “this year there has been an increase of between 10 and 15 percent of matzot exports abroad. The most growth concerns the handmade, round, authentic matzot and this represents more than a million dollars a year in exports…Indeed, most of the export is to the United States, but also in remote areas, who wants matzot can find them in the big chains.”
Roi Wolf, CEO of Matzot Aviv states that 50 percent of his matzot are exported, mainly to the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. But he notes that “for the first time this year, we will be exporting matzot to India. Individuals bought quite a bit of matzah from us and they will distribute them there to whoever requests them..”
A noteworthy exporter of matzot is Ma Yoffi Ltd. – Flavor of Israel, founded a year ago by Arkadi Mayufis, who made aliyah from Russia. The company’s CEO Nimrod Saltzman expressed his hope that Ma Yoffi will begin exporting matzot to the Far East next year.
Ma Yoffi is, in fact, a packaging firm, which has six employees, all of whom speak Russian. Saltzman explained that they “take food
products and package them in small packages 200-250 g. Our starting point is that Israel is the land flowing with milk and honey, and we take existing products which represent the Land of Israel, and give them a new design, and we thereby give respect to the local product…People come to Israel, and when they get here they bring things home with them, what they consider to be most Israeli, such as date syrup, carob spread, honeys from different areas in Israel, and matzot, wrapped in a roll of recycled carton.”
He recounted that he “recently met representatives of a Japanese company, who were very enthusiastic about our products. During our second meeting we were already discussion operations, how to export our products to Cosco in Japan. There is no doubt that exports to the Far East matzah is the next big thing, and it’s happening right here and now.”