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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
More consumers are making their food purchases in national supermarket chains, but the Research and Economic branch of the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry says changes must be made if the chains want to maintain their market share.
According to a study by the ministry, more than half of all food purchases in Israel in 2005 were made in national supermarket chains, which increased their combined market share some 10 percent to 52.3% from 1995, the last time a similar study was conducted.
"If the supermarket chains intend to continue increasing their market share, they must focus on two things," said Beni Fefferman, director of the Research and Economic branch.
"First, they must continue to increase their haredi and Arab consumer base as these populations have a relatively significant need for large grocery purchases and they must also increase their product diversity by focusing more on non-food items, such as household utensils and electricity products."
The report revealed that some 70% of Israeli consumers made the majority of their food purchases in the same supermarket between 1997-2005, while 40% replied that between the years 2000-2005 they frequented the same store for every shopping trip.
"Israelis trust the supermarkets that they are used to and despite diversity and many different choices, they continue to go to the same markets," Fefferman said.
Approximately 60% of supermarket workers shop at their local chains, 47.6% of non-religious residents frequent the big chains while only 13.9% of students make their food purchases at national food chains, the report said.