Survey Finds OU The Clear Leader in Kosher Certification

December 19, 2007

Consumers Trust OU to Ensure Highest Standards of Kosher, Food Safety and Cleanliness

Amid the explosive growth of the U.S. kosher food industry in recent years, a new survey has found the OU symbol of the Orthodox Union to be consumers’ preferred kosher certification in the packaged goods marketplace. Jewish respondents consistently named OU their top choice for ensuring the food they purchase meets the most stringent kosher certification, while non-Jews perceived the OU to signify the highest level of product safety and cleanliness.
The Kosher Certification Symbol Study was conducted by WAC Survey and Strategic Consulting in late December and early January 2007. The online survey questioned 1730 randomly selected kosher food consumers about their food buying habits and asked them to rate six kosher symbols on multiple attributes such as familiarity, reliability, freshness, quality and taste. Jews and non-Jews participated in the study, including Muslims, lactose intolerant and health conscious individuals who purchase kosher food on occasion.

“The survey makes clear what we instinctively knew: That the OU symbol is iconic in terms of kosher certification, that it is like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval or the Underwriters Laboratories UL on an electrical product,” declared Rabbi Menachem Genack, Chief Executive Officer of OU Kosher. “Consumers — Jewish and non-Jewish alike — trust it for a variety of reasons, and that is why the OU is the world’s most accepted and recognized kosher symbol.”

The Findings: The Power of OU Certification

Of those surveyed:

 82% can recognize a kosher certification symbol
 66% usually choose to buy a product with a kosher certification symbol
 Six of 10 who don’t buy store brands would do so if it had a preferred kosher certification symbol.

When OU was compared with other kosher symbols:

 OU was the best known and most widely recognized kosher certification symbol by a wide margin among Jewish and non-Jewish respondents.
 OU is the symbol most often on the food purchased by respondents by a 3 to 1 margin.
 Respondents named OU as the symbol they would select as their first choice to purchase by a margin of more than 2 to 1.
 Consumers’ overall opinion of OU certification is significantly higher than for all other certification symbols.
 By a 2 to 1 margin, OU is the symbol that comes to mind when a respondent is asked to think of kosher certification.
 Kosher-observant Jews perceive OU to be “the standard” of kosher certification, and purchase OU-certified products over products with other certifications by a 4 to 1 margin.
 Jewish and non-Jewish consumers who purchase kosher food on occasion perceive the OU symbol as standing for the safest and cleanest foods.

“This study confirms the tremendous value of kosher certification in general, and of OU certification in particular,” agrees Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Chief Operating Officer of OU Kosher. “These findings clearly show that the OU is the symbol most widely recognized and trusted by consumers, and demonstrates the power of OU certification as a highly marketable tool.”

“No longer just gefilte fish and matzoh, kosher has long been mainstream in terms of the range of certified products available. Now we know that the OU certification is mainstream as well in terms of the diverse mix of consumers who actively seek it out. This study clearly demonstrates that whether they’re Jewish or non-Jewish, averse to eating meat or dairy, or simply want a healthy lifestyle, consumers reach for the OU before other kosher symbols to meet their dietary needs,” said OU Senior Rabbinic Coordinator and Marketing and Communications Vice President Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran.