Shortage of Mineral Water Expected, From Today

Mineral water bottlers Mayanot Eden (colloquially known as Mey Eden) and Neviot are not expected to resume production within the next few days. The firms both suspended pumping of spring water after regular testing showed the water to be contaminated. Shortages are expected at grocery outlets today. The two companies tested their spring water quality yesterday, but the results remain irregular.

A spokeman for the Central Bottling Co., the controlling shareholder of Neviot, said that after testing yesterday, the company had notified the Health Ministry that the results are still insufficient, and that the company is not asking for a permit to resume production at this point. The spokesman said it would take a few days for production to resume.

Rami Levy, the owner of Rami Levy Hashikma Marketing, told TheMarker that on Monday, a day after the public became aware of the problem, there was a 25% drop in mineral water sales of all types, but by late afternoon sales had stepped up as consumers began to stock up. The Blue Square grocery chain reported similar sales activity in bottled water, with sales of mineral water up 5% on average. A spokesman for Blue Square reported that competitors like Ein Gedi and San Benedetto had seen sales increase by more than 10%, while Mayanot Eden sales were down by 5% compared to the week before, and Neviot sales remained unaffected, possibly because the company announced the problem a day later than Mayanot Eden.