July 21, 2014

Israel’s Food Establishment Maintains Supply Despite Hostilities

 TEL AVIV — The scene on Israeli television showed truck drivers of some of the large food companies like Osem and Tnuva seeking cover as sirens signaled the arrival of another incoming rocket from the Gaza Strip. Within two minutes, the all clear siren was heard and the drivers returned to their cabins enroute to their destinations. Some food manufacturers in the South, particularly in Sderot, the Israeli city on the Gaza border, operated despite the raining rockets as did food plants in Ashkelon and other locations that were the recipients of a constant barrage of rockets. 

With Israel’s ground offensive underway, many key workers were drafted for reserve duty leaving some important positions unmanned. This was the picture that emerged from the ongoing hostilities in the Gaza Strip. Yet, in supermarkets all over the country, one would be hard pressed to notice that Israel was in the midst of a war with Hamas terrorists. The sources told Kosher Today that they did not detect any rush to stock up on food and water. 

The campaign in Gaza came at a time when the supermarket industry in Israel was experiencing somewhat of a slowdown. According to Globes, the Nielsen Report published for the first half of 2014 shows that there has been a slowdown in the market causing many chains to redouble their bargain campaigns. 19% of all food items sold this year was sold at bargain prices, the highest proportion in recent years. Says Globe: “Despite general price slide caused by bargains, the average consumer basket price rose, because the private brands have weakened, while the leading brands have become stronger. The reason is that the price gap between the leading brands and the private brands has narrowed to an average of only 16%.” Supermarket executives are hoping that the war in Gaza does not further slow sales. 

Photo by Reuters