October 31, 2011

While US and European Holiday Sales Soar, IsraelÕs is Disappointing

Jerusalem and New York…(contribution from Idele Ross, Kosher Today Israel Bureau Chief)…While US and European sales soared by 10% - 15% this past holiday season, Israeli supermarkets did not enjoy the same strong sales. The Mazon food news website reported that social unrest and economic uncertainty were felt at the checkout lanes of the country's markets where shoppers admitted that they were buying less this year.  A market research done for Chesde Naomi (an NGO that provides food for the needy)  by the Mutagime polling institute was based on a survey of 500 people .  15% said they would be spending as much as 30% less while 6% admitted they were spending half as much for the holidays.  4% said they would be spending more on holiday items and 44% said the economic situation had no bearing on their shopping at all. Food sources told Kosher Today said that while the US and Europe benefitted from the three holiday periods of 3 days each, Israel had only Rosh Hashanah as the Diaspora celebrated an additional day on Sukkoth and Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah. Many large kosher independents in London and New York reported 10% - 12% increases in sales with some as high as 15%. Supermarkets in the US generally held to 5% - 7%.