Kosher food is making real inroads into the UK market these days. Though recent newspaper headlines have highlighted declining numbers of observant Jews in Britain, Orthodox food manufacturers are prospering.

Success or failure comes down to how assiduously companies respond to the market megatrends for healthy, convenient and indulgent foods and whether they take up the challenge of broadening the appeal of their products

beyond supermarkets' ethnic food shelves.

Yarden has emerged as one of the UK's top kosher wholesalers - thanks, in particular, to its innovative line-up of chilled products.

Last week it launched two new chilled dip lines: sun-dried tomato and mixed olives.

"Our most popular lines are all in the chilled dips and salads offer," says a spokeswoman.

"We sell a lot of hummus, tahina and red cabbage with


She is unwilling to reveal the company's sales figures, but insists they are on the increase.

"For us the market is growing all the time," she says.

"At present we account for about 30% of the kosher market in the UK."

Yarden also makes frozen and breaded products, such as

chicken drumsticks, under its own brand, and imports wine from the Golan Heights. It distributes nationally to independents and to Tesco and Sainsbury's.

Tivall is another key Israeli exporter. It specialises in meat-free and vegetarian products and is the manufacturer behind many of the retailers' own-brand meat replacement products, including frozen veggie burgers and hotdogs.

Its customer base has begun to broaden beyond the Jewish community. "Over the last five years, there's been a big trend in meat reduction, as people try to lower their red meat intake," says Jane Collins, head of Tivall UK.

That has driven sales: Tivall's British operation turned over about £5.4m last year. But the company also wants to broaden the appeal of the products to committed carnivores.

Research indicates vegetarians seek out meat-free offers wherever they are so the company plans "to use language on packs that is more welcoming to non-vegetarians", says the spokeswoman.n