Yiftah Shaked, one of the individuals behind the cottage cheese protest, recently appeared before the Knesset Economics Committee and told the lawmakers that he imported Colgate toothpaste from China for a French retailer, at a price of NIS 7 per tube. Shaked asked to import the Chinese toothpaste to Israel, at least via France, arguing that either way, it would cost consumers less than it does now. But the Health Ministry blocks anyone but the official importer from importing toothpaste.
The Super Brands organization found that Colgate is one of the 10 brands that Israelis believe will be leaders within five years, too. The high prices apparently don't scare off loyal consumers.
Importer Schestowitz stated: "The toothpaste costs NIS 13.96 in Israel before tax, according to Nielsen, and it can be purchased for significantly less than the prices presented here. In addition, some of the prices presented here include VAT, and some do not. Companies do not set VAT rates. When you look at prices before VAT, the gaps are not as you presented them. Likewise, the toothpaste we import is sold in Hebrew packaging, which is designed specifically for the Israeli market, and is also kosher. This is a part of the import cost."