Jerusalem … The secret has been out for some time that the religious community wields enormous consumer power in Israel, hence the effort by Israeli companies to court this market. Food manufacturers have also bent over backwards to take advantage of this huge market, which Globes estimates is worth some $3 billion in sales. In recent years, food manufacturers have invested major efforts on different marketing and sales strategies more suitable to the demands and sensitivities of the Haredi orthodox community which represents 11 percent of the total population. According to Yaakov Stern, CEO of the Meimad (Dimension) advertising agency, which is dedicated exclusively to the Haredi sector, a new brand or manufacturer launched in this market needs to invest more than the older recognized companies. He said that the best approach is to advertise in the Haredi media and through word of mouth.
Globes said that companies which ignore Haredi consumers are missing a huge business potential because the community is becoming more affluent which is reflected in the kinds of products that are being bought. One Haredi woman who edits a home and design magazine for the community noted that with the state child allowances being cut back, more men are going out to work and more income is coming into the home. Haredi in Israel refers to the extremely observant Orthodox Jews who generally follow either a Hasidic rabbi or the foremost Torah scholars in Israel.