OU Kosher Website Introduces New Product Search Feature

14 Jan 2009

A newly redesigned feature to help the kosher consumer easily locate OU certified products has just made its debut on www.oukosher.org. With more than 400,000 products certified by the OU, the feature uses the OU’s technical wizardry to find just what the consumer is looking for, in categories ranging from acids and acidulants to wrapping materials and paper goods. The website is automatically updated daily to keep up with the OU’s newly certified products.

The original product search averaged some 3,000 hits a month over a period of more than two years of existence. Now it is faster and easier to use and is expected to be even more heavily utilized than the old site. The previous version was harder to search with less search criteria. Now it uses a more state of the art, quicker, more user-friendly technology and additional search filters that were not previously available.

“The new product search brings an unprecedented ease in searching for OU certified products,” explained Rabbi Yonatan Kaganoff, OU Kosher Rabbinic Coordinator, who oversaw the project. “Consumers can easily search for products using a variety of categories and criteria. This will help consumers worldwide find the kosher products that they are looking for as well as confirm that that OU Kosher products that they see at their local supermarkets are indeed certified OU Kosher. Sometimes consumers see a new product bearing an OU symbol or product bearing an OU symbol for the first time and want to make certain that the symbol is accurate. The newer, faster product search will allow them to consume these products without concern.”

The OU Kosher website is divided into company and consumer sections; the product database is a highlight of the consumer area. The feature enables the consumer to search by product, such as mayonnaise; by brand; and by dozens of categories. The searcher can also use a variety of “filters” – meat, dairy, pareve, consumer, industrial, Pas Yisroel, and Cholov Yisroel – to narrow the search. For example, there are 1171 pareve varieties of OU mayonnaise on the site, compared with 17 dairy. A range of information is provided about each product, such as company and brand name; status as meat, dairy or pareve; and any special information regarding the product, such as how it should be shipped.

Can’t find the product you are looking for? An additional feature enables the consumer to recommend that product for OU certification. All in all, it’s a tidy package for the benefit of the kosher consumer.

“This is another step in our ongoing quest to service the kosher consumer to avail themselves of the wide variety of OU certified products,” declared Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Chief Operating Officer of OU Kosher.