cottage cheese 311 R.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Strauss Group Ltd. has canceled a price hike on several dairy products after
Globes exposed a repackaging ruse.
Strauss repackaged products to conceal
price hikes. It repackaged 1.5 percent fat Danone yogurt without notifying
retailers that the product price in the new packaging was higher. Strauss began
distributing the newly packaged products to retailers two weeks ago. The price
hike was achieved by reducing the number of yogurts in the package from eight to
six, effectively raising the price per unit by 24.6%.
“We launched the
product in order to diversify, and we didn’t notice that the price rose,” said a
retailer who was surprised to discover the price differential.
weren’t told. It’s sad for customers. At Strauss they see apartment
prices rising, so they exploit this in the food market and say, let’s ride the
“This is a popular product,” the retailer told Globes. “I estimate
that at least 600,000 packages are sold annually.”
The price rise
effected by Strauss with the new packaging was just part of a plan to raise
prices for dairy products through repackaging.
Globes reported Monday
that Strauss planned to repackage dairy products to raise prices per unit by
14%-21% without notifying retailers about the change.
involved were the fourpack Danny chocolate and vanilla puddings, four-pack
strawberry-flavored yogurt with cornflakes topping, the four-pack yogurt with
chocolate-coated rice crispies, the four-pack of yogurt with chocolate-coated
Chinese pecans and the two-pack cottage cheese.
A retailer said Strauss
had notified it about the new packaging, but when it compared the items, it
found that the packaging was unchanged and only the bar code had been changed,
reducing the benefit for consumers. The new packages were scheduled for
distribution beginning on July 4.
“All the packaging reflected a 20%
higher price,” a retailer told Globes. “They come to you ostensibly with a new
product, when in practice it’s the same old product with a different bar code
and higher price. It’s simply a trick, and we feel the consumers’ pain. Strauss
is the dairy delicacy powerhouse. The Danny puddings have strong sales, and it’s
hard for consumers to deal with this.”
“We told the Strauss
representative, ‘You’re raising prices.’ He replied, ‘Nonsense.
new products.’ What new product? This is the same product, but they lowered the
benefit for consumers,” another retailer told Globes.
“They reduced the
benefit and raised the price indirectly, which without a doubt misleads the
In response, Strauss said Tuesday: “Yesterday, after Ilanit
Hayut put the report on the Globes website, Strauss said, ‘No such thing
occurred, we are sure of it.’ Regrettably, that statement, though made
innocently, was erroneous.
Following Ilanit Hayut’s inquiry, this morning
we were informed that there had been a change in the price for packages of
Danone dairy delicacies. We regret this, and inform you it is only thanks to
you, and your report from this morning, that we rechecked our information
systems and regrettably an error occurred in the company’s notices.
company accepts full responsibility for lowering the consumer price immediately,
so that the price per unit will be the same as for the previous
“We reiterate that our response yesterday was unequivocal and
that we discovered an error today in the information system chain, and we regret
it. We thank Ilanit Hayut for her dedication.”