Manischewitz says it will not be producing kosher-for-Passover Tam Tams this year due to engineering and construction delays at its new Newark facility.
February 28, 2008
Aficionados of Tam Tams and other Manischewitz kosher-for-Passover products may have to find a different snack food this year. They are among the products Manischewitz will not be producing this year due to engineering and construction delays at its new Newark facility.
“It’s been a hiccup,” said David Rossi, vice president of marketing for the company.
The company closed its Jersey City facility after Passover 2007 and built a $15 million facility in Newark. “We have a brand-new, state-of-the-art, computer-controlled production line [or oven]; but as you know if you’ve ever done any construction, there can be delays, and we had delays,” said Rossi.
Manischewitz will also be offering less variety in its matza selection. It will produce unsalted, whole wheat, and egg matzot; but it will not be producing its less popular ones: Passover Thin Tea Matzo, Yolk Free Egg Matzo, White Grape Matzo, Concord Grape Matzo, Thin Unsalted Matzo, Shmura Matzo, and Spelt Matzo.
Prices will not be affected either by the delays or by rising wheat prices, said Rossi, at least for this Passover. As the company renegotiates wheat contracts for after the Passover season, however, the company expects to be affected by rising market prices.
Andrew Halper, owner of Zayda’s Kosher Deli in South Orange, said he hadn’t heard about the shortage before getting a call from a reporter.
“Tam Tams are a big item,” said Halper. “I’m really shocked.”
The company expects a shortfall from its drop in production, but Rossi said, “Sometimes you take one step back to take two steps forward.”
The B. Manischewitz Company, LLC started in Cincinnati in 1888. It moved to Jersey City in 1932 and became part of RAB Holdings in 1998. In 2004, it changed its name to RAB Food Group, LLC. The company produced its first Tam Tams in 1940.
“It’s not a catastrophe,” said Rossi. “It’s not like Manischewitz is not producing matza this year. We’re biting the bullet for this Passover. We’ll get through it and we’ll come out better.”
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