Did food prices spike at the beginning of November? Depends who you ask

November 1 wasn't just Election Day. It was also supposed to be the first day of noticeable price increases in supermarkets throughout Israel.

 Milk for sale at the Rami Levy supermarket in Jerusalem on July 17, 2022.  (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Milk for sale at the Rami Levy supermarket in Jerusalem on July 17, 2022.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

This past summer, many importers and manufacturers announced that they would raise prices on various items like canned tuna, laundry powder, cookies and cleaning products. Prices were expected to rise for most foods and various non-food products at the beginning of November.

So did prices go up or not? Depends on who you ask. 

While some consumers are willing to swear that the same products and brands now carry a higher price, Eyal Ravid, CEO of Victory, a chain of grocery stores, claims that there weren't any price increases.

It's possible that the only goods missing from the shelves are those in which retailers refused to comply and wouldn't display the various price increases.

Ravid was asked if some suppliers were giving him trouble because he decided not to raise prices. He answered that some large suppliers of major brands, such as Unilever, Kimberly and Sano had refused to deliver toilet paper and paper towels to Victory.

 A GROCER unpacks bags of Osem noodles in a Tel Aviv market. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) A GROCER unpacks bags of Osem noodles in a Tel Aviv market. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

So prices haven't yet risen because the marketing chains prefer empty shelves to high prices.

Yeynot Bitan also confirmed Ravid's words; they stated that they're trying to accommodate food manufacturers' demands for price increases yet keep prices as low as possible. 

Also, they're working to bring more and more products from the major retailer Carrefour in France, which are the cheapest in their categories and with high quality which can be seen in the large amount of those products sold in Europe.

Rami Levy, the owner of the Rami Levy chain that operates numerous supermarkets throughout Israel, claims that not only have prices not increased, but some have also been discounted.

The Market warehouse chain also stated that they didn't raise prices and Shufersal, the largest retail chain in Israel, announced that they continue to resist suppliers and clarify that there weren't price increases because they didn't authorize suppliers to increase prices.

So where does the feeling of many consumers come from that prices went up? 

Two main parameters caused people to feel this way. One is the end of sales for the holidays, when discounts were given for buying large quantities of many products. 

Also, some store brands now offer as a replacement more expensive brands with an increased price.