Grocery Chains Overprice Low-fat Cottage Cheese

Tnuva reduced the price of 1% cottage cheese, but The Marker found stores continue to charge more than the recommended price.

Supermarket chains lowered the price of cottage cheese with 5% and 9% fat content, but did not lower the price of 1% cottage cheese, The Marker's review of select branches of various chains has found.

A few days ago, after announcing that it would lower cottage cheese prices, Tnuva sent out its new price list to supermarket chains, according to which the retail price of 5% and 9% cottage cheese is NIS 4.55 and the recommended consumer price for these products is NIS 5.90.

With regard to 1% cottage cheese, Tnuva set a lower price of NIS 4.11 for retailers and a recommended consumer price of NIS 5.39. The reason for the discrepancy is that 1% cottage cheese is sold in containers of 200 grams instead of the usual 250 grams.

However, The Marker has found that supermarket chains are still charging shoppers the same price for 1% cottage cheese as for the other varieties, despite the reduced amount and the lower purchase price they are paying Tnuva.

At branches of Supersol's discount chain Supersol Deal, 1% cottage cheese was listed at NIS 5.72, just like regular cottage cheese, even though the recommended consumer price is only NIS 5.39 - a difference of 6%. At branches of the discount chain Mega Bool, 1% cottage cheese had a price tag of NIS 5.50, like the other cottage cheeses. This works out to NIS 2.20 per 100 grams of regular cottage cheese, compared to NIS 2.75 per 100 grams of 1% cottage cheese.

An AM-PM store in Ramat Aviv went even further: 5% and 9% cottage cheese are sold there for NIS 5.90 (Tnuva's recommended consumer price ), but 1% cottage cheese sells for NIS 6.99 - 29% more than the recommended consumer price. Tnuva itself, which is the sole manufacturer of 1% cottage cheese, charges retailers a relatively high price for it in relation to its weight. Tnuva sells the 250-gram container for NIS 4.55. By this calculation it should be selling the 200-gram container for NIS 3.64 - 12% less than is listed on Tnuva's current price list. However, this product historically has sold for a higher price because Tnuva contends that it costs more to produce since it is a niche product.

The AM-PM chain said in response: "We updated the new price of cottage cheese at all of the chain's branches and apparently they had not yet replaced the price tags on the products at the branch that was checked." A statement from Mega said: "Since you have drawn our attention to the matter we will immediately update the price of 1% cottage cheese to NIS 5.39. The price of cottage cheese at the chain (NIS 5.49 ) is lower than the recommended consumer price."

Supersol commented: "The price of 1% Tnuva cottage cheese in 200-gram containers has been NIS 5.22 in recent weeks."