Are vegans propelling market change?

Israelis buy more soy, less dairy and meat compared to years past.

Food [illustrative] (photo credit: REUTERS)
Food [illustrative]
(photo credit: REUTERS)
For a country known as the land of milk and honey, Israeli shoppers seem to be taking a step to the vegan side more and more.
A Nielsen’s report released on Monday showed a 100 percent jump in the amount of soy products Israeli shoppers bought between 2012 to 2015. Meanwhile, a number of meat and dairy products showed decreases.
Following soy, tahina paste saw the second-highest sales increase of 31.4% during the three-year period, trailed by a 28.9% increase in granola, a 23.6% increase in green and herbal tea sales, with black tea sales down 13%. The only food item on the list to buck the trend was dairy pudding, whose sales have risen 28.8%.
Sales for ready-to-eat meat dishes saw the biggest dip in sales, of 48%, followed by a 26% drop in long-lasting UHT milk and a 25% drop in margarine sales.
The report also showed that consumers are shopping more at openair markets and small shops specializing in specific products, such as bakeries and butcher shops.
According to the results of a market research survey, the report said the percentage of people shopping at health food stores went up from 3% in 2008 to 14% in 2016. A similar trend was spotted at specialty cosmetic stores, where 13% of those surveyed shopped at in 2016, compared with 3% in 2008.
The survey also showed an increase of 5% in numbers of people buying take-away food. Meanwhile, the number of people buying breakfast foods declined by 5% while the average price of breakfast products increased.
The report said that the amount consumers spent on food and toiletries in 2015 stagnated, which follows a global trend. However, since the Israeli population is growing, the stagnation is seen as a decrease.
Overall, the report said that the rising cost of living mixed with a simultaneous desire to buy healthier foods are the main forces driving the average shopper nowadays.
This was also the second consecutive year in which prices decreased overall due to government price controls on certain products.
Aging population and giving birth to children at a later age were also cited as factors behind the stagnating food purchases.