Sweet and sour sauce, made by Osem. With recipe attached.
Sweet and sour sauce, made by Osem. With recipe attached. Photo by Ofer Vaknin
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Tnuva and Osem products are seen by the public as the most "blue and white," according to a survey conducted for the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry.

Tnuva's dairy and Osem's food products were each chosen by 22% of the survey's respondents as being the most definitively Israeli, followed by Elite with 15% and Strauss with 14%. About 40% of respondents did not name a single Israeli company as being "blue and white" in their eyes. Most of those answering "no answer" were younger and with fewer years of formal education.

A large majority, 72%, agreed that buying Israeli products would reduce unemployment while 82% thought such purchases helped the economy.

Geocartography Knowledge conducted the survey for the ministry in January. The survey was conducted with a representative sample of 1,200 respondents, age 18 and older.

Asked if "buying blue and white" gives them a feeling of pride, 69% said it did, while 63% agreed that it reduces Israel's economic dependence on the rest of the world.

"We see an improvement in Israelis' awareness of the importance of buying blue and white," said Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon. "This is a contribution to the economy, society and employment in Israel. We will continue with our educational activities to get these messages across."

Assuming that the quality and prices of of the goods were similar to foreign items, 86% of Israelis said they would prefer buying local products, while 37% said they even would be willing to pay more for the Israeli brand - well, about 10% more - as long as the quality was the same. Meanwhile, 42% said they were buying many more Israeli products this year than they did last year.

"The survey results once again prove the important connection between Israeli industry and the Israeli public," said Dr. Ron Tomer, chairman of the Blue and White Division in the Manufacturers Association. "Israeli industry invests large sums to manufacture high-quality goods that are appropriate and ready for the Israel consumer, and in many cases also at a competitive price while increasing economic competition."

Inon Elroy, the ministry's deputy director-general and head of its blue and white campaign, said there was an improvement in Israelis' awareness of the importance of buying local goods, and that they have internalized the principles of smart consumerism, taking price differences into account.

The ministry relaunched the blue-and-white campaign this year; the survey was part of its preparations. "There is great significance in buying Israeli goods, considering the fact that every shift of NIS 1 billion from imports to [local] manufacturing creates 2,750 jobs," said Elroy.