Parmigiano-Reggiano, the hard, crumbly cheese that has been an Italian mainstay for centuries, is going through some serious changes. According to Bloomberg, multiple Italian cheese companies near Parma are seeking kosher certification in order to increase their American export profits. The kosher market has boomed in recent years and is estimated to bring in about $12.5 billion annually.
“An entrepreneur who has vision must spot what’s missing [in the market],” Nicola Bertinelli, said during an interview at his cheese factory. Bertinelli premiered his kosher cheese in October, and will be presenting it at the World’s Fair Expo Milan.
Other Italian businesses that have gained kosher certification include Ferrero (producers of the beloved Nutella spread) and Italian coffee company Lavazza. But, despite appearances, the popularity of kosher food has little to do with religion. According to according to Lubicom Marketing & Consulting, only one-fifth of kosher food is purchased by those who follow Jewish laws.