May 30, 2012

Shavuos a Time of Celebration for Dairy Protestors

TEL AVIV -- It was only a year ago that skeptics opined that the protest movement against skyrocketing dairy prices would be short-lived. They cited the David and Goliath analogy, which pitted social media against Israel’s mega dairy companies. But this Shavuos, a full year later, reports Globes, the results seemed to have exonerated the protestors. 

The business daily quotes a survey of prices by price comparison website Hasuper that prices across the board in major supermarket chains were sharply lower. Dairy products account for 17% of Israel's spending on food, with an annual turnover of over NIS 7 billion. At Rami Levy, the price of a container of 5% and 9% Tnuva cottage cheese fell from NIS 6.50 in June 2011 to NIS 5.50 in August to NIS 4.70 today, for a total reduction of 28%. 

Shavuos discounts have further lowered the price to NIS 3.80. The price fell from NIS 7.20 to NIS 5.60 at Mega and Shufersal. At Rami Levy, the price of a 3% container of Strauss cottage cheese fell 36% from NIS 6.90 in June 2011 to NIS 4.40 today. The price of a container of Strauss Sky white cheese spread has fallen from NIS 6.35 to NIS 4.30, and at Mega and Shufersal the price has fallen from NIS 7.80 to NIS 6.40. 

At Rami Levy, Yoplait yogurt, marketed by Tnuva, has fallen 14% from NIS 5 to NIS 4.30, and a container of Gad Dairy ricotta goat cheese spread has fallen 25% from NIS 17 to NIS 12.60. Many food manufacturers fear that the dairy protest is merely a forerunner to a far more impactful consumer movement that may force many large manufacturers to take dramatic cuts in their profit margins.