cheese shavuot 88.
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Consumers are expected to spend some NIS 35 million on dairy products leading up to Shavuot, including on some 30 new products introduced in honor of the "cheese holiday."
"The rise in pre-holiday purchases is a result of the country's stronger economy and the increased spending power that Israeli citizens now enjoy," said Reuven Schlissel, chairman of the food-production branch of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, which indicated that anticipated sales for the holiday are about of seven percent above 2006 levels.
According to the Manufacturers Association of Israel, almost NIS 50m. has been invested in Israel's dairy industry, with the money being used for the purchase of new equipment and the development of new technology and products.
Meanwhile, the FICC noted that purchases of dairy products have risen 70% in the week leading up to Shavuot, highlighting that sales of cheese have commanded 45% of total dairy sales, as opposed to 36% during an average week.
Pacing the rise of dairy sales, however, the FICC said, is sweet cream, which has jumped some 187% leading up to the holiday, followed by mozzarella cheese, which increased its sales 169%.
In its annual report on the country's milk production released ahead of Shavuot, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported on Monday that over 1.1 billion liters of milk, including milk from cows, sheep and goats, was produced in 2006, 2.7% less than in 2005, but still the highest per capita in the world. The Agriculture Ministry recently pointed out that Israel's advanced agricultural technology allows the country to remain ahead in annual milk production, pointing out that its cows, sheep and goats produced an average of 11,300 kilograms of milk in 2006, representing a rise of 200 kilograms from 2005, and 1,000 kilograms above the level 10 years ago.
The ministry also noted that Israelis drank an average of 875 cups of milk, equaling 175 liters, per person in 2006. Over the five years leading up to 2006, the amount of milk (including yogurts and cheeses) consumed by Israelis had declined annually, it said, but last year rose 6.5%, for a net gain of 4.6% after factoring in a 1.8% growth in the country's population.
CBS also reported that the average price of a carton, or one liter, of milk, was NIS 5.19 in 2006, while the average price of 100 grams of yellow cheese stood at NIS 4.22.