Food prices surge as protests’ gains are lost

Sharp price hikes have been made on a wide range of products, including ketchup, Starkist Tuna, frozen Nile Perch fillets, mayonnaise.

By ILANIT HAYUT/GLOBES
January 3, 2012 06:02
1 minute read.
cottage cheese

cottage cheese 311 R. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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The social protest has waned, the holidays are over and prices of some products on supermarket shelves have again skyrocketed, according to a Globes investigation at retailers.

For example, the price of Osem Investments Ltd.’s real powdered chicken soup has risen at least over 100% at Shufersal Ltd. discount chain Shufersal Deal, Alon Holdings Blue Square – Israel Ltd. chain Mega and Rami Levy Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd.

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The differences in prices of products at various supermarkets also indicates the huge differences in their mark-ups.

Sharp price hikes have been made on a wide range of products, including ketchup, Starkist Tuna, frozen Nile Perch fillets, mayonnaise and mineral water and other beverages.

However, the prices for some products are the same across supermarkets. For example, the price for Snowfrost frozen garden peas and corn is NIS 17 at all the supermarkets.

The Jewish New Year and Sukkot occurred at the height of the cottage cheese boycott and protests against high prices, and consumer demand fell. Retailers and manufacturers both realized that to maintain sales levels, they would have to make deeper price cuts. Price cuts at both Rami Levy and Shufersal hit their gross profits for the third quarter of 2011. Blue Square’s gross profit actually rose, possibly indicating the chain did not itself finance the reduction in consumer prices.

All the supermarket chains saw a sharp drop in profits, although this was not due to lower prices at Blue Square.

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