Zehavit Cohen - September 2011
Zehavit Cohen standing by the family Renault, which replaced her chauffeur-driven luxury Volvo jeep after protesters held a rally next to her house. Worry not: Her personal driver is still on the job.
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Tnuva's sales had been dropping even before the consumer boycott began yesterday, retailers told TheMarker.

The boycott against Israel's largest dairy is being sponsored by 14 student unions and is scheduled to last a week, from last night through next Monday. It is motivated by the dairy's prices, which have gone up significantly over the past few years.

A senior executive at one supermarket chain said Tnuva sales were down 6% this Sunday, compared with last Sunday. Its competitors, Tara and Strauss, were the big gainers, said the executive. The lost sales were more pronounced at supermarkets in the center of the country, he added.

An executive at another supermarket chain said that Tnuva's sales had been dropping ever since the cottage cheese protest, which launched the broader social protest, began in July. Sales of Tnuva dairy products were down 9% so far this month, he said, adding that sales were down 11% on Sunday compared to last Sunday.

Today, Tnuva is launching a new sale, giving consumers 50% off the second item. The big question was how this would affect sales, said the executive.

Yet another supermarket chain said Tnuva sales were down a sharp 28% yesterday compared with last Monday.

"It's strange that Tnuva can suddenly sell sliced yellow cheese for 50% off the second item. It makes you wonder what their profit margins are like on regular days," one supermarket executive said.

Tnuva CEO Arik Shor responded on Army Radio yesterday: "We feel like we've been done an injustice. We consider ourselves a super-Israeli, super-influential company," he said.

"I'm very disappointed, because I think out of all the other companies, there is no company more Israeli than us. We don't import coffee, we don't import breakfast cereal; we manufacture everything from Israeli agricultural produce, and that's as Israeli as you can get," Shor said.

According to United Nations data, coffee is not actually grown in Israel.