Strauss Group on Wednesday joined the growing list of food manufacturers introducing price hikes, announcing that it will increase the cost of dairy products to consumers by 3 percent to 5% next week.

On November 1, Strauss will implement a 5% price increase on cheeses, a 4% increase on chocolate-flavored drinks, a 3.5% increase on Dani and Gamadim puddings and a 3% increase on vitamin-enriched milk. The price of the popular dessert Milki will not change.

Strauss said the move was necessary following the recent 20.7-agorot increase in the target price of raw milk, which now stands at NIS 2.34 per liter.

Several other large manufacturers have announced price hikes this month, including Osem and Unilever Israel.

“The sharp rise in the cost of raw milk obligates us to make specific adjustments in the price of dairy products,” Strauss CEO Zion Balas said. “Were it not for the increase [in costs], we would not have raised prices for any Strauss category at this time.”

Strauss and fellow dairy manufacturers Tnuva and Tara were the targets of a consumer protest in June 2011 that preceded massive public demonstrations over the cost of living.

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