One custom I have always liked about Purim (aside from the drunken revelry, of course) is Mishloach Manot, those fun Jewish goodie-bags that people give to each other during this festive holiday. It’s like Trick-Or-Treating in reverse: the candy, wine, cookies, etc come to you -no need to go banging on any strangers’ doors.
Surfing Google, I came across a myriad of articles about what one should include in their Mishloach Manot baskets, including a rather heated discussion over “themed Mishloach Manot” on Hashkafah.com. All these ideas got me thinking like a cunning marketer, and it occurred to me that there is an untapped market for “niche” Mishloach Manot.
So here are a few categories of potential Mishloach Manot ideas targeted to the interests of specific populations to help get this venture started. (NOTE: all items included result from intensive focus groups with members of each target audience.)
Feel free to use some of the items listed in your own Mishloach Manot baskets, and add your own suggestions in the comments!
1. Altercockers (or “Geriatrics”)
One word: prunes.
2. College Students
Ramen Noodles (Gefen and Tradition sells kosher, Oriental Style versions)
Red Bull and/or Starbucks Frappuccino bottles
Prune-flavored condoms (to make them remember to call their grandparents — see previous category)
Compact fluorescent bulbs (someone actually posed the idea of “marzipan candy in the shape of compact fluorescent bulbs” in the Hashkafah.com forum linked above).
Worms for their compost bins
Sustainably-made Hamentaschen or other treats (see this post)
Noisemakers…err, then again, they probably are loud enough without them
Matzah (just tell them “Purim” is another word for “Passover”)
Might as well throw a Menorah in there, as well
A few plastic Easter eggs to show Jews can be supportive of their holidays, too