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58% of restaurants in Israel prefer alternative kosher certificate, survey

“alternative kosher certificate” would increase willingness to eat in a restaurant or café over a restaurant or café with no certification at all

Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz (left) of Private Supervision at Pasta Basta, a popular restaurant

A market survey examined the viability of an alternative kosher certificate among patrons who frequent restaurants and cafes and is released this morning (Monday) to coincide with the launching of the Tzohar rabbis alternative kosher certification. The survey found that 80% of potential patrons would be willing to eat in a restaurant or café that have alternative certification, while 58% of those surveyed who do not keep kosher at all, would still prefer to eat in a place with alternative kosher certification over eating in a restaurant with no certification at all.

The survey conducted by the Ci Marketing Research was carried out by the “Judaism For All” initiative, founded by MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid), in cooperation with the Triguboff Institute, headed by Shalom Norman.

Stern said: “I commend the Tzohar rabbis for lending a shoulder to the effort to increase kosher certification in Israel. Regrettably, the current certification system adds no honor to Israel’s Judaism. The time has come for there to be a possibility for widespread, high quality kosher certification, which is welcoming and transparent and intended to be inclusive of all kashrut observers and all types of businesses in Israeli society.”

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As part of the study, a distinction was made between four different types of patrons:

Those who only go to businesses that have Rabbinate certification – these constituted 17% of respondents;
Those who eat in places with kosher certification, but not necessarily by the Rabbinate – 8%;
Those who keep kosher but do not worry about eating in a place with a certificate – 29%;
Those who do not observe kashrut at all – 40%.
Alternative Kosher, Kosher certificate / YouTube

The first and last target public (those who observe Rabbinate kosher certification and those who do not keep kosher) were a-priori designated as having little potential to become consumers of the new product, i.e. the alternative certification, while the two middle target audiences were characterized as having respectively “high potential” and “medium potential” to adopt the new alternative certification.

The research, undertaken among a representative cross-section of 508 Hebrew-speaking Jews, not including ultra-Orthodox Jews, was completed two months ago.

It revealed that overall, 80% of Jews would be willing to eat in a restaurant or café that have alternative kosher certification with a high level of assurance (“Certainly”) or medium level of assurance (“I think so”). In this context, even among those who observe the Rabbinate’s kosher certification, 37% said they would eat in a place of business that has alternative certification (“Certainly” or “I think so”).

At the same time, 58% of those surveyed noted that an “alternative kosher certificate” would increase their willingness to eat in a restaurant or café over a restaurant or café with no certification at all.

Interestingly, the same percentage was noted among eaters of non-kosher food: 58% would prefer to dine in a place of business with alternative certification over no certification; the percentage for this among those who observe Rabbinate certification was 53%.

On the opposite, when people were asked what degree of faith they have in the Rabbinate certification found in restaurants and cafes today, more than half, 51%, said the certification was not reliable (“Not so much” or “Not at all”), while 23% said the Rabbinate certificate was only moderately reliable (“So so”).

 The remaining 26% trust the Rabbinate certification (“Sufficiently” or “Very much”). A low level of trust was also registered among the people who observe the Rabbinate certificate when choosing a place to dine. Only 62% of this public trust the certificate, while 38% of them doubt the certification’s validity (“So so”, “Not so much” or “Not at all”).

According to the survey, the alternative kosher certification will also face the challenge of gaining the public’s trust. Seventy percent of people surveyed trust the certification, but of them, only 26% trust it a lot (“Very reliable”), while 45% only give it medium value (“Pretty reliable”). The remaining 29% do not trust the new certification (“Not so much” or “Not at all”).



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