Friday, October 19, 2018

(Credit: Trader Joe’s)

Excitement in the aisles of Trader Joe’s began as word spread that Israel’s iconic, best-known snack is now being sold there under the name “Trader Joe’s Bamba Peanut Snacks” for 99 cents per 3.5 ounce bag. Kosher Facebook groups spread the word quickly and The Jewish Link team wondered how Trader Joe’s would even think of selling such a random product.

Kenya Friend Daniel, national director of public relations of Trader Joe’s, explained, “Our buying team is always in search of amazing new products we feel our customers would like. When buyers pitched the Bamba Peanut Snacks we were aware of the product’s popularity in Israel and the fact that it was difficult to find in the United States, so we were excited about the opportunity to potentially be able to offer it to our customers. After trying the product, our tasting panel unanimously voted in favor of it. The hope was that our customers would enjoy it just as much, and so far the feedback has been positive.”

She explained as well that “80 percent of our products are under the Trader Joe’s private label. The Trader Joe’s label allows us to strip out the stuff that can add unnecessary costs, and in turn offer the product at a value to our customers. The Trader Joe’s labels also allow us to ensure the product contains no GMOs, artificial flavors, preservatives or trans fats, and only contains colors derived from naturally available products. All products under the Trader Joe’s label are of great quality, offered at a fair and great price and have been approved by our tasting panel.”

Bamba is a popular food for Israeli children, and for many, it’s even their first solid food of any kind. It has also been repeated frequently that Israeli children develop far fewer peanut allergies due to the fact that many eat Bamba at such young ages, primarily because it is a snack that they can put into their own mouths and is soft and mushy, thereby preventing the possibility of choking.

Bruce Mazer, MD, executive director/chief scientific officer of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) (interim) and head of Child Health Research at the Montreal Children’s Hospital of the MUHC, has informed The Jewish Link that “the LEAP study done in England used Bamba started at age 4-11 months until age 5 versus no peanut exposure. Early introduction of peanuts prevented peanut allergy by 85 percent compared to no peanut exposure alone.”

Our communities are always excited to see Israeli products being promoted by local stores and certainly many are appreciative of the Trader Joe’s initiative. Send them your suggestions if you have a product they might like. How about Milky?

By Nina Glick