Consumer Food Spending Sluggish, but Pizza Thrives

The average household spends NIS 1,122 per month on regular consumer goods, according to ACNielsen data supplied in advance of this week's annual Tel Aviv food conference.

The marketing information company found that 76 percent of monthly expenses in the barcoded market involves food, whose sales grew only 1 percent last year, while drink sales fell 0.7 percent.

Households netting NIS 14,000 or more spent 2.3 times as much on food as those netting NIS 4,000 or less - NIS 1,304 per month versus NIS 576. Still, even the rich are pinching pennies, laying out 1.5 percent less on food than during the same period last year. The lower decile decreased food outlays by 2.5 percent.

The upper decile consumed premium products like frozen food, fresh cut vegetables, and gourmet cheeses 3.5 times as much as the lower decile, according to ACNielsen. The upper decile also consumed basic products at a 1.8 greater clip than the lower decile.

Despite the recession, certain premium categories enjoyed growth, including refrigerated vegetables (38 percent), non-dairy cheese (29.4 percent), frozen pastries (27 percent), and frozen pizzas (13.3 percent).

The average household went food shopping 126 times last year, AC Nielsen reported. By comparison, the average Italian or German went to the supermarket 220-230 times a year. Households completed 19.7 percent of their visits to point of sales in the barcoded market on Thursdays, during which they paid out 22.4 percent of their weekly food expenses.

Prices between the least and most expensive chains varied by 20 percent, and by more than 10 percent between less and more expensive branches within the same chains.