October 9, 2018

Holidays Over, Israelis Worry about Soaring Prices

Tel Aviv…It may seem odd that Israeli consumers were not hit with higher prices over the holidays but now must face the reality of higher prices. According to the Marker, prices for everything would go up: milk, bread, vegetables and hundreds of other products made by the big food manufacturers, including Osem, Unilever Israel, Coca-Cola and Vita Pri Hagalil. A survey of supermarkets a day after the holidays ended in Israel found that prices were in fact as much as 24% higher than before the holidays. The check was done by comparison with prices in mid-September, before the Rosh Hashanah holiday, at branches of Super-Sol Deal, Mega Bool and Rami Levy.

Prices for nearly all supermarket items, from chicken and fresh produce to cleaning products, have risen sharply in the past year, sometimes adding hundreds of shekels to the price of a shopping trip. But the food retailers insist they didn't raise prices before the holidays, and that this year's sales were even more attractive than last year's. The supermarkets say they have not been raising prices. "No price increases were made either before and after the holidays," said a spokesman for Super-Sol. "The differences noted in the survey are due to special holiday sales that have ended and been replaced by new discounts on a wide range of products." Mega Bool said the increase in fresh produce prices was due to seasonal factors unconnected with the holidays, and said other prices went up because of the rise in value-added tax in September.