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Food manufacturers and supermarket chains have started taking efficiency measures, including firing workers. In most cases the layoffs will be in middle management and not lower-level employees. Among the companies cutting back are Super-Sol, Strauss, Unilever, Tnuva and Mega.

The Manufacturers Association said the companies are facing higher costs for electricity, water, taxes and more, and are limited in how much they can raise prices due to competition and the social protests against high food prices. Therefore, they have little choice but to cut back on expenses.

Super-Sol, Israel's largest retail chain, plans to fire workers in its headquarters and will cut back on hiring this year. Dozens are expected to be released in the next few weeks. Strauss, the country's second-largest food manufacturer, has already started firing dozens - despite the firm's announcement a month ago of price cuts for consumers and a program to improve conditions for its lowest-paid employees.