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Sep 5, 2009 08:38 PM

Lower kosher chicken prices on the horizon?

From Arutz Sheva

Kosher Chickens Can Fly: Israel to Export More Poultry to US

by Zalman Nelson

( Tons of Israeli kosher chickens may soon be on their way to the U.S. kosher market.

Representatives of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently visited Israeli chicken farmers, slaughterhouses and chicken food products, granting approvals to continue and expand poultry exports, Kosher Today reported. The visit was part of the FSIS’s regular inspections of worldwide factories that export chicken food products to the American market.

FSIS approval means that the U.S. considers veterinarian supervision to be equal to American standards.

The visit is expected to pave the way for expanded sales of Israeli poultry in the U.S. kosher market. According to sources at the Israel Export Institute, Israel currently exports some 800 tons of chicken food products to the U.S, and experts say there is great potential to grow.

The expansion of Israeli exports is projected to set off further competition in a market that is currently dominated by major U.S. kosher poultry producers such as Empire, Agriprocessor, and several new smaller kosher poultry slaughterhouses.

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    1. why did the chicken cross the ocean?

      3 Replies
      1. re: berel

        That may not be as much of a joke as you meant . . . why do we need chickens flown in from Israel? Many people outside the Jewish world are becoming more concerned about eating locally and not contributing to the ecological problems of the world by shipping things which are available locally; the frum world seems to be going in the other direction. I have no issue with shipping things not available locally: pineapples, bananas, etc., but chickens? It may prove cheaper in the short run, but in the long run?

        I'm not totally consistent myself with this, but I wish that more of the frum world could see a bit past their own pocketbooks, to the future of this country and the world. The future where their own children and grandchildren will have to live.

        1. re: queenscook

          >>why do we need chickens flown in from Israel

          I really don't care where they come from. The more sources the cheaper it will be. Here at Brachs they are charging $2.55/lb for chicken - way too high. It went up for Pesach and did not retrace since, hopefully with more sources for kosher birds the price will come down. Even Brachs chicken special went up a dollar not long ago to $10.

          1. re: MartyB

            I got ripped off on chicken cutlets yesterday and I knew it as I was buying them. Pic N Pay was closed at 5:30pm, so I went to Glatt Mart. $7.50/lb for thin chicken cutlets, and they weren't what I expected when I opened the package!

      2. Except for Pik-N-Pay most kosher stores meats prices have gone up and not come down.

        Funny there is a story in today's Newsday that proclaims "Grocery shoppers are finally seeing some reprieve from last year's steep price increases". According to the article meat prices are DOWN 1.7% from a year ago. I do see stable and even price reductions in meat prices at Pik-N-Pay (check out the "Meat Prices" thread here at Chowhound). However at the 5 towns local stores they have gone up and stayed up. Brachs chicken special has had two price increases and is now up to $10. Contrast this with the following quote from the Newsday article.

        " ... Costco's Chief Financial Officer Richard Gallanti said the company made some drastic moves in pricing, including reducing the price of its rotisserie chicken by $1. ..."

        As to the price of milk Brachs is selling Guida milk (not cholov yisroel) for $2.29 (half gallon) while costco sells their's for $2.09/gallon. Again a quote from the Newsday article.

        "... During a vist to a Portland, Ore., Fred Meyer store she paid 88 cents for a half-gallon of milk, which she rarely sees for less than $1. Butter and other staples also were unusually low-priced, she said. ..."

        How do we get the prices down when you are dealing with a captive audience where many of the shoppers just don't care what the prices are? I am afraid that when the cheaper Israeli chickens do arrive the local stores will carry them and pocket the cost savings rather than passing them along to the kosher consumer.

        15 Replies
        1. re: MartyB

          i do my regular shopping at a regular supermarket, milk, bread, basics, those prices are certainly not going down, unless theyve gone down a penny and i havent noticed, but 88 cents???? come on

          1. re: shoelace

            Thats what the article says. Anyway, Costco's $2.09/gal comes in at $1.05/half gallon.

            1. re: MartyB

              The Costco in Chicago was selling 2% for $1.79 a gallon this week.

            2. re: shoelace

              I do most of my regular shopping at ShopRite or Shop and Stop, and I can tell you I've never seen a 1/2 gallon of milk for 88 cents! The milk, bread, cereal, and basic name brand items are usually cheaper in a large supermarket than at a 'kosher' market.

              When you look at Costco prices, the membership price is also important. Sure, it's $2.09 for a gallon of milk... but the membership price has to be factored in as well. I'm only shopping for two people- so for me it's definitely not worth it to be a Costco member. But for some, the price of the membership is cancelled out in a visit or two.

              Wegman's has the cheapest prices on basics- a gallon of milk is around $2. A pound of butter is $1.97. The store brand canned veggies, beans,olives, jarred pickles, jarred jalepenos are all kosher and considerably cheaper than other brands, even when the other brands are on sale. Their frozen vegetables are 89 cents a bag (reg price, not sale price) and are made by Birds-Eye and have a triangle K. The W sodas are made by Pepsi and are 69 cents.

              1. re: cheesecake17

                Costco is alot more than just food. I even bought my 46" LCD TV from them. Last week I bought a Voip box called Ooma for $199 (promises free US calls for life), Amazon had it on sale for $220. So in my case the membership fee is a drop in the bucket. The thing about Costco is not only the price but the quality of the items is very high. They also have one of the best returns policy.

                1. re: MartyB

                  That's true. Friends of mine are members- they joined to buy baby stuff and never cancelled- and they'll pick up an item or two for me if I need it.

                  Price-wise, Costco is pretty cheap- but I just don't need that much quantity! A huge jug of detergent would last me forever... and we don't drink enough soymilk or milk to buy it by the gallon.

                  1. re: cheesecake17

                    They don't do everything in barrel-sized containers. Many of their food products are in multi-packs for savings, so you buy 2 or 3 units at a time (holds true for many cleaning products, too). Detergent is about twice the size as the grocery stores, not quite a "forever" package.

                    1. re: ferret

                      Yup, I realize that. But we're in a small-ish apartment, so nowhere to keep that extra package of detergent.

                      Don't get me wrong- I do love Costco and Bj's... but I just don't have the need for larger quantities. Eventually, when I have a family, it'll make more sense.

                2. re: cheesecake17

                  Cheesecake... where do you live that you have access to a Shoprite, Stop and Shop, Costco AND a Wegmans?

                  1. re: vallevin

                    Brooklyn! But we go to NJ regularly to visit family, so I stock up at Wegmans.

                3. re: shoelace

                  Actually, I have noticed supermarket prices down the last few months with very good sales. Gallon of milk is under $2 in CA.

                4. re: MartyB

                  Marty you get the prices to go down by stopping to shop at the kosher stores. If you need to buy meat/cheese/prepared food there, fine go ahead. But anything that the normal grocery store has buy there.

                  1. re: avitrek

                    The majors have for some reason very high fruit. vegtable and egg prices. Brachs has better prices on those items. Here and there the majors may have some items on sale but in general those staple items are higher than at Brachs. When I do get my turkey I will note the prices on some staple items to compare.

                    1. re: MartyB

                      just came from Costco, people in front of me on line had Empire frozen turkeys for 1.79 a pound, they said there were just a few more left, I ddn't bother going back for one.

                      1. re: berel

                        Not bad! I just bought one from KeyFood for $1.99/lb (with additional purchase of $15 required).

                        Guess I will be going to Costco today. Need lots of birds for all the yom tovim.