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FreshDirect Rolls Out Gourmet Passover Menu<br />

Online grocer FreshDirect is offering a Passover menu of ready-to-heat chef-prepared meals and prepared seder plates, in addition to such kosher for Passover fare as wine, meat, dairy products, snacks, and desserts, to its New York-area customers.

The restaurant-quality menu options include a main course, four sides dishes, and one dessert. Main courses include Farm-Raised Lemon-Dill Salmon, serving four to six, for $89.99; Coriander-Sage Cornish Hens, serving four to six, for $99.99; and Beef Brisket with Gravy, serving six to eight, for $119.99.

Among the many side selections are Brussels Sprouts with Herb Butter, Green Beans with Caramelized Apples, Butter-Glazed Carrots, Mushroom Risotto, Sweet Potato Kugel, and Almost Perfect Mashed Potatoes.

The desserts are Fresh Berry Trifle, Flourless Chocolate Cake, and Coconut Macaroons.

The seder plate features all of the essentials to celebrate the holiday: a cooked lamb shank, a hard-boiled egg, parsley, romaine hearts, charoset (a traditional paste made of fruit and nuts), and fresh horseradish root.

The seder plate and chef-prepared meals aren't certified kosher, the company noted.

Long Island City, N.Y.-based FreshDirect serves most of Manhattan and locations in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx, as well as parts of New Jersey, Westchester, and Nassau County.

The Passover opportunity that FreshDirect is pursuing could be a lucrative one for other grocers as well. Data from the Nielsen Co. shows that consumers are expected to spend over $3.5 million on matzo, the traditional unleavened bread, during the holiday week. The week before Passover is the highest sales week for matzo, and the second-highest sales week for matzo meal/mixes, with over $822,000 in sales expected.

Nielsen also predicted over 1.3 million bottles, or $6.5 million in sales of kosher table wine, will be sold during the four weeks before Passover, representing about 15 percent of the year's total sales. More than two-thirds will be sold during the two-week period right before and during Passover.

Horseradish sales are expected to hit $1.7 million during Passover week. Celebrants often use horseradish as maror, a bitter herb traditionally included on the seder plate.

Senior couples, or two-person (age 65 and above) households with no children, living in mid- and upscale, densely populated, ethnically diverse urban centers, consume the highest amounts of matzo, matzo meal mixes, and kosher wine.
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