Pareve 101

Pareve is a term which relates to the status of foods on the kosher list. KOSHER CERTIFIED FOOD Pareve is a Hebrew word meaning neutral. It indicates that the product does not contain any derivatives of poultry, meat, or dairy ingredients. The reason for this kosher food symbol DESIGNATION is based on one of the central pillars of dietary laws that does not allow for the combining of meat and milk. (There are two other kosher food designations: Dairy and Meat.) Examples of pareve items include: fruits, vegetables, eggs, and water.

Millions of people around the world limit their food consumption according to a wide array of criteria, including health, food safety, taste, and religious or other dietary reasons. Many of these people specifically seek out the kosher symbol as a trustworthy means of ensuring that these criteria are being addressed. According to market studies, the appeal of foods with a kosher symbol transcends the interest of any one specific ethnic group. Consumers of foods on the kosher list - KOSHER CERTIFIED FOODS include Jews, Muslims, and members of various Christian sects, vegetarians, those suffering from celiac and lactose intolerance, and the many who simply believe that "kosher is better." In America, for example, where the USDA permits food manufacturers to put a "non-dairy" designation on an item that may contain up to two percent in dairy ingredients, even this small percentage is unacceptable for vegetarians and the lactose intolerant. A reliable kosher PARVE symbol classification takes the guesswork out of trying to decipher the ingredient panel, assuring these consumers, among others, that the food item was produced without dairy ingredients, dairy residue, and contact with dairy equipment.

The Pareve designation or kosher symbol is a powerful marketing tool, particularly, for the following consumer groups:

The Jewish Market

Pareve and dairy designations appear in conjunction with the STAR-K emblem of kosher certification on products that are used throughout the food industry. For the kosher consumer, a pareve designation on a food product ensures that it may be eaten with either a meat, poultry, dairy, or fish meal. From a kosher marketing point of view, products that bear a Pareve designation are most marketable to this consumer group since they are universally useable in conjunction with any type of meal.


According to a Lubicom survey, vegetarians, who have committed to excluding meat, poultry and fish from their diet, represent the next largest segment of the kosher consumer. The STAR-K kosher symbol, or the STAR-K symbol in conjunction with the 'Pareve' designation, guarantees that the product contains no meat, dairy, or poultry derivative and is therefore suitable for vegetarian use.

Lactose Intolerant

Lactose intolerance afflicts an estimated 30-50 million American adults, a large percentage of whom are either African American or Asian American. In addition, there are many people who suffer from allergies to dairy products and who may experience a life-threatening reaction to the most miniscule consumption of milk- derived ingredients. Kosher DIETARY law requires absolute segregation between meat and milk. Thus, products containing a dairy ingredient must bear the kosher symbol with the letter "D." The absence of the letter "D," or the use of the 'Pareve' designation ensures that the product is 100% dairy- free. Lactose-intolerant consumers, as well as those allergic to milk, search for the kosher symbol or foods on the kosher list because it is their warranty that the product has never encountered any dairy derivative or shared any equipment with a dairy production.

Religious diets

Millions of Muslims throughout the world follow a dietary regimen similar to the kosher dietary laws. Since they recognize that food products bearing a kosher symbol conform to the requirements of Halal, foods certified as kosher have a broad appeal to Muslims. The countless inquiries from the Islamic community attest to the attention given to the kosher symbol on packaging of a broad variety of products. Muslims currently constitute a sizeable chunk of the "kosher" market. Additionally, Seventh Day Adventists and other Christian sects share some of the same dietary restrictions found within Judaism. Pork, for example, is not permitted to Seventh Day Adventists. A kosher symbol on meat and other food products is a guarantee that the food is permissible for their use. A pareve designation ensures that the product is meat-free for both Muslims and Seventh Day Adventists.

Marketing Your Pareve Kosher Products

The kosher market abounds with opportunities for the food industry. STAR-K urges you to explore how products bearing the kosher symbol and Pareve designation can be a part of your sales and marketing strategy. The STAR-K can act as a liaison between your company and the kosher market. It can direct you to a wider clientele in global markets and help you achieve the marketing edge you're looking for. With its respected international staff, its hallmark global acceptance, personalized service, and impeccable standards, STAR-K Kosher Certification can provide you with that competitive edge in the kosher market. Request an application and take advantage of the STAR-K's no-obligation feasibility study, which is offered free of charge.

As a leader in the international world of kosher certification, STAR-K is most proud of its reputation for providing prompt, friendly and professional service to both the kosher consumer and members of the food industry. To inquire about kosher certification, contact us today!
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