Coffee Price War

Cafe Cafe Chain Cuts Prices to Combat Cofix

Move is latest volley in Israel’s cafe price war after newcomer Cofix started offering everything on its menu for $1.43 this fall.

The Café Café chain says it’s lowering prices, the latest volley in Israel’s café price war after newcomer Cofix started offering everything on its menu for 5 shekels ($1.43) this fall.

Café Café, which operates 134 branches, is cutting the price to 29 shekels for dishes that cost between 42 and 44 shekels. The drop will go into effect in January. The price of takeaway hot drinks will fall to 8 shekels from 12 shekels.

Café Café’s cut prices will last for at least a year, said Ronen Nimni, the company’s owner. Nimni had said after Cofix’s launch in the early autumn that he wouldn’t reduce prices by a cent.

“Prices at cafés were never high or inflated, and expenses have increased over the past two years,” said Nimni. “Still, we decided to listen to the whispers that this is going to be a tough year for consumers. There have been lots of layoffs and cutbacks in the economy, and everything is more expensive. Both for companies and consumers things are harder.”

The Landwer chain’s 30 branches are also expected to cut prices in the coming days.

“Following the changes in the coffee market, the chain has been examining its pricing possibilities and supplies,” Landwer said in a statement. “It will do all it can to continue providing good coffee in Israel at a convenient and competitive price.”

In October, Aroma Israel and its Aroma Tel Aviv arm lowered their price for takeaway cappuccino to 8 shekels. In November, Aroma Israel reduced the price for three of its sandwiches to 18 shekels for a whole sandwich and 10 shekels for a half.

The chains Arcaffè, Roladin and Café Greg said they didn’t plan to cut prices at the moment. A chain owner who requested anonymity said he was considering lowering prices but was waiting for the right time.

“The economic situation isn’t good and people are cutting back on luxuries,” he said. “They spent a lot of money during the summer vacation, which fed into the fall holidays. Then they realized they had a problem and needed to close their wallets.”

Ofer Vaknin