Tesco prepared branch managers for the Pesach rush when it launched its largest-ever festival range at its Borehamwood supermarket last Thursday.
Thirty store bosses were on hand to hear senior buyer Steve Ewels and Florette Hyman from the London Beth Din’s kashrut division give explanations of the festival days and the requirements of observant Jewish shoppers.
Borehamwood has been selected as the flagship store for the festival, stocking over 300 Pesach products, from matzot and wines to cold meats and chickens.
There is a promotional poster near the store entrance and prominent displays of special offers.
“We recognised that we needed to improve our Pesach services,” Mr Ewels acknowledged, “and this has included bringing in a wider range of produce, offering more promotions and displaying our items further ahead of the festival.”
He felt that “store managers all over the country will benefit from our close relationship with the Beth Din and will understand fully the requirements of customers during the festival”. Mrs Hyman said Tesco “have really gone that extra mile”.
First-day shoppers included Edgware mother Siobham Danski, who explained: “This is my first time preparing for Pesach as I’ve either gone abroad or stayed with family.
“There seem to be good deals on matzahs and cold meats and we will buy plenty of what we need. However, we may cut back on sweets and chocolates as they can add up [in price].”
Another mum, Caroline Jacobs of Borehamwood, said she was “looking to get discounts on bulk purchases of matzah and drinks. But I still expect to pay £400 — not including meat — on my shopping. I will buy certain brands at my local kosher store but it’s nice to be able to go to Tesco and stock up.”
Eli Batashvili of kosher food company Yarden anticipated a bumper Pesach on the basis that more people would this year be spending the festival at home.