Quick question: If a one-liter carton of Tnuva 1% milk costs NIS 5.82, how much should a two-liter carton cost?
The answer, apparently, is NIS 12.51 - meaning that if you buy the two-liter carton instead of two one-liter cartons, you'll be paying an extra 87 agorot, or 11% more.
Tnuva sells more than 800,000 two-liter cartons a year, so the company is earning an extra NIS 696,000 because consumers presume the larger carton is a better deal, or at least not a worse one.
"We'll reexamine the matter," Tnuva told TheMarker.
The price of the one-liter carton is under government price control. The price of the two-liter carton is based on Tnuva's recommended prices for stores, including VAT.
Consumers reportedly complained to the Super-Sol supermarket chain, arguing that the price structure was illogical. In response, Super-Sol asked Tnuva to clarify, and in the meantime started charging NIS 11.64 for the two-liter carton - the price of two one-liter cartons.
This problem appears to be isolated to the company's 1% milk - a two-liter carton of 3% milk costs the same as two one-liter cartons, as would be expected.
Tnuva has faced an onslaught of criticism since a popular protest broke out this summer over the price of cottage cheese. A month and a half ago, the company announced that it would cut the prices of some products by 7% to 20% in response. These products include white cheeses (15% cheaper ), yellow cheeses (15% to 20% ) and pudding (7% ). As opposed to acknowledging the social pressure and ensuing boycott, Tnuva said the price cuts stemmed from a reduction in the price of raw milk.
Several hours later, competing dairies Strauss and Tara announced similar price cuts.
Meanwhile, Tnuva is under investigation by the Antitrust Authority for alleged monopoly pricing practices. The authority's chairwoman, Zehavit Cohen, stepped down due to that affair.
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