Holiday food prices higher than in 2011
Part of the price increase can be attributed to VAT going up by one percentage point at the beginning of the month.
Supermarket chains have already begun their price-promotion campaigns ahead of the High Holy Days, but on average they're charging well above last year's holiday prices and, accordingly, seem to be advertising much less.
Part of the price increase can be attributed to VAT going up by one percentage point at the beginning of the month, along with higher product and overhead costs for supermarkets, but TheMarker found the chains charging anywhere from 4% more at Mahsanei Kimat Hinam to 35% more at Mega Bool for a basket of 30 items compared to last year's run-up to Rosh Hashanah.
Some of the price increases are quite steep. Rami Levi Hashikma Marketing, for example, is offering a whole chicken for NIS 9.80 - 53% more than its cut-rate NIS 6.40 last year, while Mega Bool more than doubled its price, from NIS 6.50 last year to NIS 14 now.
Setting out to check which chain offered the most economical basket of items for the holidays, TheMarker chose 30 products that could be compared to those offered last year, including meat, fruit and vegetables, soft drinks, and special holiday items like gefilte fish and horseradish.
Among the chains surveyed, Rami Levi again provided the cheapest basket, costing NIS 324.80 this time - 12% higher than last year's price. The most expensive, NIS 453.90 at Mega Bool, was 40% pricier than Rami Levi's.
Mahsanei Kimat Hinam, which provided the most expensive basket last year, managed to provide the second-cheapest this year, at NIS 374.20. At Super-Sol Deal, which went almost toe-to-toe with Rami Levi last year, the basket has risen 33% since last year to total up at 22% higher than the cheapest.
Rami Levi Hashikma Marketing said: "The total cost of the basket this year is higher than last year's because different promotions have been offered on other products. The differences also arise from the fact that producers themselves provided bigger discounts last year."
Mega responded: "The Mega Bool chain offers its customers the cheapest and highest-value basket for Rosh Hashanah. Prices of specific products on which the survey was based were subject to sales promotions last year. Also, some of the same products are being offered again this year under the 'hundreds of holiday items for NIS 10' sale, like gefilte fish and Etz Hazait canola oil."
Super-Sol said: "Specific products put on promotion last year shouldn't be subject to price comparisons this year. A different list of holiday products is prepared each year according to the chain's understanding of the optimal basket for the Israeli family before Rosh Hashanah. Super-Sol put together a basket this year too in which a wide range of products was assembled for particularly attractive promotions, in addition to hundreds of other items offered promotionally at NIS 5 to NIS 20 - fully addressing the needs of the chain's customers."