For the first time in the months to come, a weekend advertising insert with cents-off coupons will be “OU certified,” as it appears in major newspapers nationwide with the famed OU Kosher symbol displayed on every product. The inserts are a program of the Orthodox Union and Forum Publishing Group, a media company wholly owned by the Sun-Sentinel Company of South Florida, which in turn is owned by the Tribune Company of Chicago.
The purpose is to provide a completely new avenue for food manufacturers to reach the niche market they are seeking.
The inserts, to be called Certified Kosher, will appear in editions distributed in high density Jewish zip codes in the circulation areas of the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Newsday (in New York City and Long Island), South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Baltimore Sun and other Tribune and non-Tribune publications. It will also appear in major Jewish newspapers, including the Jewish Journal of South Florida, a Forum Publishing Group paper, with a circulation of over 140,000 weekly.
Marty Kaye, Forum’s corporate liaison, expects that the insert will quickly expand beyond one million homes across the country in the initial distribution.
The first insert is projected to appear before Chanukah, in December. Once the program is underway, it will also appear at Passover in the spring; in a summer edition; as well as prior to the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) in September.
The insert will combine the marketing expertise and reach of the Forum Publishing Group and its sister companies and the brand name of the OU, the world’s largest and most respected kosher agency. The OU certifies more than 400,000 products manufactured in 80 countries worldwide.
The multi-page insert will include a half-page segment providing kosher information from the OU. As with the kosher market as a whole, OU certified products are widely consumed outside of the Jewish community, with sales to Jews and non-Jews growing by 15 percent annually, according to knowledgeable sources.
In a letter to OU certified companies, Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran, Vice President of Communications and Marketing of OU Kosher wrote, “As you well know, we at the OU are always exploring innovative ways to help you in your marketing efforts, and to assist you in bringing your kosher certified products to the public.” He added, “There is no doubt that kosher is one of the hottest sectors in today’s food market. With this coupon insert, you will have a great new way of telling the kosher consumer – who is always looking for new items – about your product. We recommend that you consider being part of this exciting new venture.”
Commenting on the program, OU President Stephen J. Savitsky declared, “The OU certifies so many iconic brands that are found in coupon inserts – General Mills, Drakes, Chock Full of Nuts, Heinz, Hellman’s, Nabisco’s Oreos – that it is appropriate to offer these brands and others the opportunity to appeal specifically to the kosher consumer. The coupons may be cents off, but the results, we are sure, will be big dollars for the advertisers.”