May 24, 2018

Shavuos Second Only to Passover in Israeli Supermarket Sales

Tel Aviv…Israelis love the Shavuos holiday. Although it is only one day (as compared to two in the diaspora), supermarket executives say that it is second only to Passover in terms of sales. It is apparently sacred not only for the anti-meat and anti-dairy people but the right fit for vegans. According to a 2016 Yediot Aharonot survey, about 8% of teenagers and 5% of adults in Israel define themselves as vegan.There are no concise figures for the number of cheesecakes and blintzes consumed but food sources say that it reaches six figures. Israelis are known to be big cheese lovers and as Americans often discover, the choices for dairy are over the top, even at an average day hotel breakfast. It is only in recent years that many alternative products, such as soy milk, have become big sellers in Israel. According to a 2017 survey by the financial paper Mamon, sales of dairy alternatives saw a stunning 37% growth since 2016. This has led to an entire line of non-dairy vegan products for Shavuos including the obligatory blintzes and “cheesecake.” Food sources say that many secular Israelis celebrate Shavuos and particularly covet cheese pastry products. The popularity of Shavuos has resulted in record sales for the holiday. Amazingly, wrote one Israeli foodie blogger, “you would think that sales would plateau after Yom Haatzmaut (Independence Day), but no, Shavuos is really big.