Kosher food has been marching into the mainstream for about a decade, but lately the pace seems to have accelerated. In fact 13% of the adult population now regularly purchases kosher food, a group that includes (among others) Muslims, vegetarians and people with food allergies. Why the sudden kosher boom? On reason could be consumers' increasing concerns about food safety, and the generally held perception that kosher food is made to a higher standard. Or it could be that kosher food occupies a unique food space – a step above ordinary but not as premium (and expensive) as organic and locally-sourced products.
Whatever consumers' reasons, it's clear that more and more food manufacturers are going to the trouble and expense of obtaining kosher certification for their products. The effect has been to turn a kosher seal into almost a given in many aisles in the grocery store, and in turn making it easier than ever before to live an almost completely kosher life.
To learn more about what kosher means, and how the kosher movement is changing the American supermarket, check out Kosher Nation, a well-researched new book by Sue Fishkoff.