Weird Sells: Wall Street Journal Shines a Spotlight on Rosh Hashana Fruit Rush

’New fruit’ madness during Jewish holiday captures the attention of WSJ

LOS ALAMITOS, CA (October 2016) — The produce industry graced the front page of the Wall Street Journal earlier this week with a feature story on the spike in demand for exotic produce during the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana, especially in the New York City area. [Subscription is needed to access full article.]

Published on October 2, “What’s Juicing the Market for Weird Fruit? Rosh Hashana, Obviously” explores the fall grocery store phenomenon which sees shoppers rushing stores for the most exotic fruits they can find to celebrate Jewish New Year. It is a tradition to try a new fruit for Rosh Hashana.

As specialty fruits become more widely available, so grows the demand, year after year, for even more exotic items. According to Sophia Hollander’s article, Baldor senior buyer Patrick Ahern saw exotic fruit sales grow more than 500 percent in 2014 compared with the same week the previous year.

The article indicates that many shoppers do not mind premium pricing as long as they get something new and impressive for their New Year’s celebration. New York-based produce retailers like Gourmet Glatt Emporium and Ouri’s stock exotics because “they know they will sell,” according to Hollander.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce President and CEO Karen Caplan was quoted as saying that stores compete over “who’s got the newest and the weirdest.”

In response to this article, Caplan added, “Rosh Hashana is a great launch pad to start an exotic fruit program. Sales momentum continues after the holiday is over.”

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce celebrates a 54-year legacy of inspiring new food experiences for friends, family, and food lovers everywhere. Credited with introducing more than 200 specialty fruits and vegetables to U.S. supermarkets, Frieda’s has helped launch unique items like kiwi fruits, Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes, habanero peppers, Sunchokes®, and organic finger limes. Founded in 1962 by produce industry icon Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is now owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters, Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce, and Inspire. Taste. Love.