The Orthodox Union was founded in 1898 as a non-profit community services organization that would help unify the growing and increasingly fragmented American Jewish community. It would quickly become a powerful force within the United States through its support for education, European immigrants and political advocacy. As a result of these efforts the OU earned the trust of the community while it built close ties with the non-jewish community including the Whitehouse and New York state politicians. In may 1934 William Weiss, President of the Orthodox Union, was present when a check for $1,000,000 was presented to President Roosevelt for the Warm Springs Foundation for the cure of infantile paralysis and medical research work. The orthodox union contributed a substantial amount to that fund from the campaign it coordinated through affiliates and member synagogues.
Kosher Certification as a Partnership
And so it was in 1923, that HJ Heinz saw an opportunity to connect with the growing Jewish community and invited the Orthodox Union to provide kosher certification for its many products. Since its symbol first began appearing on food labels OU kosher has viewed kosher food programs as a partnership. Despite regular inspections certified companies must be committed to the program to ensure the integrity of the OU Kosher’s symbol. OU Kosher’s contribution to that partnership is to provide the support and resources to help its certified companies succeed whether on the production lines, the supply chain or the marketplace.
Cooperative Marketing and OU Kosher’s Consumer Reach
OU Kosher offers kosher certified companies a number of opportunities to connect with kosher consumers and for industrial products and services, to reach their prospective customers. Objectives for these marketing opportunities can be either awareness or they can be for lead generation.
The Orthodox Union engages with 10’s of thousands kosher consumers daily through 17 community programs with a demographic that spans teens to Older adults ages 65 and over. And geographically its programs span 3 continents and over 300 cities around the world. That engagement is both digital and in person.
For consumer brands, placement on the OU kosher owned network includes weekly publications which reach over 200,000 consumers, and a quarterly print publication, Jewish Action, mailed to 45,000 households.
Social media campaigns across all programs have the potential to reach over 250,000 followers. And in select situations OU Kosher will run pay per click adwords campaigns. Content marketing opportunities include a product profile page on the OU kosher website, informational product webinars and events to create awareness about a brand or product. That content can be tailored to a broad or niche audience. Other channels include a network of kosher influencers, affiliate organizations and kosher retailers.
Marketing and Promotion of Industrial Products and Services
For industrial products, OU Kosher offers placement in its monthly industrial newsletter which is sent to about 45k email addresses. Products and service companies will be interviewed for an article profiling the company. That story can be either written or video.
Ingredient companies can opt to have their products display in the OU Kosher company product searches for kosher certified ingredients. For co-packers, a profile in the co-packer directory can also increase visibility adding exposure to brands looking for a manufacturing facility. For all of these scenarios additional opportunities include cooperative Google adwords pay per click campaigns.
Creating a Cooperative Campaign
Keeping in mind that it’s not necessary for a brand, company or service to have an existing campaign. All that’s needed is OU Kosher certification and a desire to get the word out about its business. The marketing team at OU Kosher can help develop something as simple as a video or an article showcasing a product or service.
The first step in working with OU Kosher’s marketing team is to contact your Rabbinic Coordinator (account executive). They’ll help interested companies take the next step.