The Manischewitz Rebrand

A Thoughtful Nod to Tradition with a Modern Twist

Growing up, Manischewitz was a comforting presence in our family's pantry. In fact, I think I can say that was true for almost every Jew I know. It always held a special place in my heart. 

So when I heard it was rebranding, I was eager to see how a 136-year-old (started in 1888!) brand so integral to American Jewish culinary heritage would refresh its image while honoring its roots. The result? A thoughtful and engaging transformation that pays homage to tradition while creating a playful and welcoming environment inviting a broader audience to explore Jewish culture and cuisine.

New 2024 branding - Manischewitz

Cultural Relevance and Expansion

In the landscape of today's global market, where the appreciation for culturally rich and diverse foods is ever-growing, Manischewitz's rebrand shows how traditional brands can evolve while staying true to their roots. 

“There is latent cultural relevance in the brand that is already baked in, pun intended. All the resurrections in globally inspired foods and products, we see it too and there is just a very rich culinary history within the brand that we wanted to tap into.”

Shani Seidman, CMO of Kayco (parent company for Manischewitz)

At the heart of Manischewitz's rebrand is a clear focus on cultural relevance and expansion. They of course seek to connect with their core Jewish consumers (most are in Boca Raton, FL 🤣 ) but also reach their grandchildren and their grandchildren’s friends, irrespective of their cultural or religious backgrounds. 

Latkes and characters - Manischewitz

“We want to expand our base to the core consumers' grandkids or even the grandkids' friends who might not even be Jewish. That is a culturally curious person and wants to explore different cuisines”

Shani Seidman, CMO of Kayco (parent company for Manischewitz)

There are numerous brands on the market that strive to introduce their globally inspired foods to a broader audience, ensuring that individuals from diverse backgrounds can savor the richness of different culinary traditions. Some notable brands that are successfully achieving this include Fly By Jing, Omsom, ZestyZ, and Somos

Authentic Yet Modern

Manischewitz's rebrand masterfully integrates the brand's 136 year old history with a modern aesthetic, crafting a visual identity that appeals to both the long-standing customers and new audiences, some of whom may not even be Jewish.

New Matzo packaging - Manischewitz

"What I love about the visual is that it feels new and bold and exciting but also nostalgic and familiar."

Shani Seidman, CMO of Kayco (parent company for Manischewitz)

This "new old-school" vibe resonates with those seeking authenticity and tradition, as well as those attracted to innovation. The brand stands at this really unique position at the intersection of heritage and modernity, as seen by few brands in the market.

I think the new look will help ensure that the brand remains relevant and engaging, particularly to younger audiences. The addition of the characters is one of my favorite additions to the refresh.

Manischewitz illustration (afikoman)

New Manischewitz illustration (soup)

I always find characters, when done right (see Graza), add a playful side to the brand that you don’t often see. Especially with a nostalgic and well known brand like Manischewitz, it helps deepen the relationship. 

The Genius of Choosing JKR

But this new look would be nothing without the agency tasked to update it. Selecting Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR) to helm the visual evolution of Manischewitz was clearly a good decision. JKR's has this ability to ground brands and craft relatable, enduring visuals is particularly impactful in the context of a heritage brand like Manischewitz. Plus, JKR knows how to evolve a big legacy brand into a big legacy modern brand. They did it with Burger King, Dunkin’, and Budweiser. 

In my view, JKR's approach is precisely what Manischewitz needed—a design language that makes the brand more approachable to a mass audience while preserving a sense of heritage and familiarity.

Strategic Growth and Inclusion

If you haven’t yet, go check out my TikTok video breaking down this rebrand, but something interesting that came from it was how many people were joking about their bubbies (grandmothers) down in Florida would have no clue where to look, they wouldn’t know how to find it with the new packaging! Honestly, that’s hilarious, but I saw a lot of comments like that. 

Grandkids everywhere, let your bubbies know that Manischewitz products are staying put in the kosher/Jewish sections of your Publix or any grocery store. Which is genius, let me tell you why in 2 parts.

On-shelf placement - Manischewitz

One, you’re not changing up anything drastically for the consumer. It’s still in the same location so even though it’s new you know it’s there. 

“What we’re doing is inside out, we want to make the Kosher aisle a destination. So rather than try to get consumers over to a different aisle and act like an American brand. We’re saying “come to the Kosher aisle, come to the jewish aisle.” It’s an ethnic exploration.”

Shani Seidman, CMO of Kayco (parent company for Manischewitz)

And two, Manischewitz is positioning the Kosher aisle as a starting point for exploration. They're not just selling products; they’re inviting consumers to embark on a cultural journey. They want consumers to be a part of the culture that surrounds this brand and its products and that starts in that aisle. It furthers their authenticity, it grounds the products more in the culture, keeping the brand where it has always been merchandised, for now, does that. 

Product Innovation

New packaging from Manischewitz

Manischewitz isn’t just sticking to all their classics, they’re introducing some new ones

  • First ever frozen products:

    • Gluten-free and Kosher for Passover Frozen Knishes

    • Frozen Gluten Free Matzo Balls

  • Grape Seed Oil in bottle and spray can

New Frozen Potato Knishes - Manischewitz

These offerings cater to contemporary preferences while staying true to the brand's heritage, illustrating a forward-thinking approach to product development. 

Final Thoughts

The Manischewitz rebrand is a testament to the enduring power of food as a conduit for culture, history, and connection. By weaving together tradition and innovation, the brand invites us on a culinary journey that can transcend time and geography. As someone who has been closely observing this rebranding, I am impressed and inspired by the journey Manischewitz is undertaking. It's a commendable feat for a legacy brand, and I applaud their effort! Super excited to see this hit shelves and my Passover table!

OOH Sample Ads - Manischewitz

You can buy Manischewitz products at most supermarkets and on Amazon!

Now that you made it this far. The real question, can this updated gefilte fish packaging make you want to eat it??

He looks happy

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