Most Israelis prefer ‘blue and white’

Poll: 83% of respondents favor local products over foreign ones of equal quality, price.

By NADAV SHEMER
March 15, 2011 23:20
2 minute read.
Israeli flags fly

Israeli flags 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Eighty-three percent of Israelis prefer buying locally produced goods over foreign-made goods, according to the results of a poll released by the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry on Tuesday.

Some 1,200 respondents were asked what they preferred to choose between Israeli- and foreign-made products of the same quality and price. Only 6% of respondents said they would rather purchase foreign-made products, while 11% were noncommittal.

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The release of the results coincided with World Consumer Rights Day, which took place on Tuesday. First held in 1983, the day was established by Consumers International to promote the basic rights of all consumers and to protest market abuses and social injustices that undermine those rights.

Some 72% of respondents to the poll said they consider Israeli products to be of a higher or at least an equivalent quality to those imported from overseas, while 53% said they would still buy Israeli products over similar foreign-made products, even if doing so would cost them 5% more. Sixty-five percent said they agreed strongly with the statement that Israeli-made purchases would help improve the economy.

Benny Pfefferman, head of the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry’s research and economics division, which conducted the poll, said it was the second consecutive survey to show an increasing tendency among Israelis to choose locally made goods.

The preference for Israeli – or “blue and white” – products was found to be prevalent across all ages, ethnic backgrounds and levels of education.

However, in regard to the statement that buying locally made products would expand employment options in the labor force, native-born Jews were found to be far more supportive than non-Jewish respondents or immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

Uriel Lynn, president of the Israeli Federation of Chambers of Commerce, said the results reflected a growing appreciation of Israeli consumers for the quality of their own products, which they believe are just as good as those coming from abroad.

However, he said, Israelis still purchase a large amount of foreign-made goods because a lot of products such as “televisions, electric goods, telecommunications [products] and mobiles are not produced in Israel, and suppliers abroad are competing in the Israeli market, which is very good and healthy.”

“There are a lot of products that people buy from imports, despite the fact that they are [also] produced in Israel; for example, foodstuffs,” Lynn said. “The Israeli consumer today likes variety very much, and every foodstuff possible in the world is being imported into Israel today. We have close to 2,000 importers who deal only with the importation of food.”


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