Passover is a week away, and if you know anything about this Jewish holiday, you know that it involves matzos, the unleavened cracker that you can buy in your local grocery store, usually in that one aisle with all the "ethnic foods." The kosher section of the supermarket is dominated by one brand in particular, Manischewitz, which as of today is owned by Sankaty Advisors, a division of the private equity firm Bain Capital.
Manischewitz wants people to think of the kosher symbol -- that little letter K on food packaging -- in the same way they think of the Fair Trade symbol, or the USDA Organic symbol -- higher quality and healthier..
“People want to know where the stuff comes from, how it’s made, who's making it,” says David Bernard, a marketing strategist with Mythmaker, a company whose strategy is to turn brands into compelling stories about "the essential human truth or core beliefs that brought the company to life.".
That strategy seems tailor-made for kosher foods, which according to Jewish belief are approved by God.
“That’s a pretty strong endorsement, but I think what it gets down to is this idea of authenticity," Bernard says. "It’s like, 'The people behind this product really care about what goes into it.'”
That little "K" (along with its friends "OU" and "P"); has been showing up beyond bottles of Manischewitz. Check out some of the (bizarre) ways companies try to leverage "Kosher":
Coors claims to be "America’s First Kosher Beer"
For a truly hands on experience: Get yourself a ticket to Kosherfest.