Keren Setton -The Media Line (a pioneering American independent news agency in the Middle East with a mission to provide contextual sourced and trustworthy news) interviews Sharon Levin, director of communications and public affairs for Paamonim.

Israel has one of the largest gaps between rich and poor in the OECD, and price increases on basic items will only make the gap larger

When one of Israel’s largest food producers announced it was increasing the prices of many staple products, public outrage was widespread. Owned by the Swiss firm Nestlé, Osem informed supermarket owners that it would increase the prices of hundreds of products by an average of 5%, starting next month.

The expected rise in prices exposes yet again well-known issues the Israeli economy has been dealing with for decades.                                                                                                                                Raw materials, packaging, and transportation costs have skyrocketed,” read the announcement by Osem. “This is unprecedented. After an extended period during which we have absorbed the price increase, we are forced to update our retail prices.”

Condemnation was quick to come, as calls to boycott the company. There is concern that if Osem will succeed, other companies will follow. Dairy prices are also expected to rise in the coming weeks as the price of raw milk has increased.

“Consumers in Israel need to be smarter and make wiser decisions about their purchases.”

“As consumers, we do not have to accept this,” said Sharon Levin, director of communications and public affairs for Paamonim, an NGO aimed at providing Israeli families with financial guidance. “Consumers need to be smarter and make wiser decisions about our purchases.”

Hikes in electricity, water, gas prices, and municipal taxes have many Israelis feeling the brunt of a global economy reeling from the pandemic-induced crisis but also other tendencies of recent years.

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