Sunday, July 03, 2011

Muqatanomics: Where to buy Ice-Cream and Cottage Cheese?

No, its not Rami-Levy, where you can find me on Wednesday evenings...

The cheapest places to purchase Ice Cream and Cottage Cheese, is in the Arab neighborhoods of Israel's Capital City, Jerusalem.

A Jerusalem Resident, "Shlomi" reported to YNET as follows:
"A Popsicle sold here for NIS 2.5 (72 cents) and in Tel Aviv for NIS 3.5 ($1) is sold there [Arab Neighborhoods of Jerusalem] for only NIS 1 (29 cents). A simple Cornetto sold in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for NIS 7.5 ($2.16) is sold there for NIS 2.5. Why?"

"It's just the ice cream. The rest of the products are not much cheaper than in stores in the Jewish sector," he says.

"Cottage cheese costs NIS 7 ($2) there, 1 liter of Heinz ketchup costs NIS 17 ($4.90), six bottles of Neviot water cost NIS 14 ($4), and pasta costs NIS 7-8 ($2-2.30). Marlboro cigarettes cost NIS 22 ($6.35) there while we pay NIS 24 ($6.95), but that's a small difference compared to the strange differences in ice cream prices.

"If Strauss Ice Cream are not giving them a special price, how is it possible that all other products are sold for prices similar to the Jewish sector? It's impossible that the store is willing to sustain such big losses on ice cream. Could it be that the company has decided to absorb the losses to gain a large amount of sales?

"I believe it's in Strauss' interest to sell to one population at rock bottom prices and to another at high prices. It's a trend. I saw the ice cream cases arriving at one of the stores there, and it says 'sector' on it, because it's a special production with Arab captions, and I believe the price is special too.

"The taste is the same taste and the product's size is the same size. I have to buy there because I can't afford ice cream for my daughter at the current prices."
Strauss's response:
"The consumer price is not determined by us, but by the retailers themselves. Strauss Ice Cream has a uniform pricelist for all products. It should be noted that the variety of products offered by the company includes products designated for different sectors."(YNET)
If Strauss is correct, then Israeli supermarkets and retailers are totally gauging the public...

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Anonymous said...

Ahh the laws of economics at work

Price discrimination. The ability to charge different groups of people different prices for the same product.

Think of the shuk where a tourist pays way more than a native for the same product. In short, chances are that the super markets are really marking up the prices because they can.

Eliezer said...

Will this be the start of a new consumer boycott?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why you're saying that cottage cheese is cheaper by the Arabs: The article says: "It's just the ice cream. The rest of the products are not much cheaper than in stores in the Jewish sector". And it even explicitly says that cottage cheese costs about the same in both sectors. So why do you say that "the cheapest places to purchase... Cottage Cheese, is in the Arab neighborhoods"?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this piece about price gauging in Israel. I guarantee your feedback to these kind of articles will be 10x the norm. I'm basing my estimates on your recent cottage cheese post.

SF2K01 said...

No one is stopping you from going to those Arab areas and buying from the cheaper locations, so it is still your choice. MisterZol down the street often is a few shekels more than if I walk 15 minutes to the nearest Rami Levi, but I still buy from the MisterZol down the street because that's the price of convenience. They know they're charging more, but this is how business works, it'll charge what you're willing to pay, and I'm willing to bet the Arabs for sure wouldn't pay that much money.

Still don't understand the cottage cheese complaints. It's way more expensive in America, even for the non-kosher brands, and it's not exactly a must have product anyhow.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you crossed out "and Cottage Cheese". Ice cream and cottage cheese sound pretty yucky together.

Anonymous said...

In that last sentence - you mean gouging, not gauging.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned what the property taxes at the various stores are, or how much volume of traffic they get.

A 1 -3 shekel difference for a Popsicle doesn't seem that big to me.

Shlomo said...

A 250% difference in the price of a popsicle seems big to me :)

Anonymous said...

marlboroughs now cost the same as they do in cali and are cheaper than in nyc?

what are you people complaining about?

as for the price of basics..time to organize coops and break the monopolies

boycotting wont do to organize and use the capitalist system

Mark said...

SF2K01 - It's way more expensive in America, even for the non-kosher brands

Why do you say this? A 24 oz (680g) container of cottage cheese, either Breakstones or Friendship (both happen to have kosher certification, but are the major brands) sell for about $3 or maybe $3.50, but also keep in mind that they go on sale every month or so, so you can even get it for less. And if you are ambitious, you can clip coupons and save another 50 cents or so.

There are also less popular brands such as Dean's (which I don't think has kosher certification) for even less, close to $2.50 for 24 oz. Here's a link -

How much is a 330g container in Israel? About NIS 6 or so? So, it's actually LESS in America!

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