Ever heard of Manischewitz?
April 14, 2012
NPR’s Planet Money aired an fun story this week on the Matzo economy.
Manischewitz is the largest and most recognized brand of Kosher food in the U.S. I’m not sure if the link will stream internationally so here’s the lesson of the story: “For some companies, huge amounts of incredibly difficult to follow, expensive regulation, is the best thing. It is their competitive advantage’.
Any food production company faces numerous regulations. In addition to all the government regulations, however, Manischewitz products must also conform to an array of ancient Jewish laws enforced by an agency called the Orthodox Union. For example, the Union has established that Kosher for passover means the Matzo dough was fully cooked less than 18 minutes after the flour hit the water.
What prevents Manischewitz from skirting the rules? The five regulatory rabbis that oversee daily operations on the line. As the NPR report points out, unlink financial regulations, kosher for passover regulations are supposed to be a ‘pain in the tuchus‘.