Pessah prices manage to hold steady

"We're expecting net sales in foods to spike 20% for the month of April.

matzah ball soup 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
matzah ball soup 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Whether you're just starting, in the middle or almost finished with your Pessah shopping, you might be pleasantly surprised to hear that grocery prices are comparable to last year and that most supermarkets have avoided price gouging leading up to the holiday. "We've received no consumer complaints about price gouging," said Israela Many, Deputy Manager for Economy and Taxes at the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce (FICC). "On the contrary, we're finding that many supermarket chains are offering discounts and sales for the Pessah season." Those findings were confirmed by an informal survey conducted by The Jerusalem Post, which visited three popular supermarkets in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem on Thursday - Supersol Deal, Mega and Rami Levy Shivuk Hashikma - to compare the prices of several Passover staples. The Post found that all three of these neighborhood supermarkets offered similar selections and comparable deals on boxes of matzoh, fresh chicken, jars of gefilte fish, potatoes, chazeret root, eggs, wine and other holiday must-haves. "We're expecting net sales in foods to spike 20% for the month of April due to the Pessah holiday, along with similar sales increases in durable goods and household items," Deputy Manager Many said. That sentiment was echoed by Rami Levy, founder and CEO of Rami Levy Shivuk Hashikma, Ltd., which owns and operates eight supermarkets in the Jerusalem area. He estimated that sales at his stores will spike 30% this Pessah. FICC market analysis shows that these increases are business as usual this time of year. According to FICC numbers, the past four years have brought 18% average sales increases during the Pessah season, followed by 13% average declines the month after. There was no sign of that impending decline on Thursday, however, as shoppers rushed to fill their cartswith holiday necessities. According to Levy and other supermarket managers interviewed, not even Bird Flu was significantly affecting the pre-holiday boom. Jacob Ben Naim, store manager of Supersol Deal, noted that while poultry sales have recently declined 10% at his store, they've been made up by a similar rise in beef sales. "Things are pretty much the same as last year," he said.