Boycott Costing Tnuva, in Market Share Too

Officials statistics on food sales by retail chains and groceries show that cottage cheese sales fell during the last seven days and that the biggest dairy company of them all, Tnuva, saw its market share slip.

Tara, the smallest of the three big dairies, increased its market share from 13.5% to 14.9% last week, compared with May 15-28 - reflecting an increase of 10%. Tnuva's market share contracted from 72.4% to 70.3%, reports retail stats company StoreNext. Strauss's market share fell from 14.7% to 14.1%. The numbers show that sales at retail chains and groceries dropped by nearly 18%, reports StoreNext.

The biggest retreats in sales of the popular Israeli staple were at the big supermarkets: Super-Sol, Mega and Co-Op Israel, which operates the Mister Zol chain. They reported a drop of nearly 22%. Groceries reported a smaller drop of 14%.

The heavy-discount chains also suffered, despite offering consumers special prices. At private chains such as Aba Victory and Kimat Hinam, sales of cottage cheese were down about 13%.

Neighborhood groceries reported a nearly 16% decrease in sales during the last seven days, according to StoreNext.

In fact, the consumer boycott of cottage cheese, begun as a Facebook grass-roots protest, may be far wider in scope than these statistics indicate. The figures are correct as of last week, but the protest widened during this week.

In terms of volume, sales of cottage cheese fell by just 6% last week compared with the last week of May. The discrepancy between this figure and the sales figures the companies report can be explained by special deals meant to overcome the boycott.