Israeli Consumers Mount Cottage Cheese Boycott

Consumers protest the rise in cottage cheese prices.

Not one but two consumer groups are organizing boycotts of cottage cheese. More than 7,000 people have 'friended' the Facebook page "Boycott food products", which will pick a single offending item each month that the "friends" vow not to buy for that month. The second group specifically targets cottage cheese and has racked up 6,600 adherents and counting. Its name is "Cottage cheese, such a basic product, costs almost NIS 8. Don't buy it for a month!"

Cottage cheese is a favorite among Israelis. It accounts for roughly 28% of all cheese sales. All the dairy producers have raised prices at least once in the last half-year, blaming rising production costs. Tnuva's 5% cottage cheese is the category leader.

Cottage cheese

"It cannot be that a product made by an Israeli company in Israel costs X here, while the exact same product sells in the Europe/U.S. for about 50% less, even after factoring in transportation costs," writes the general food boycott group.

In response to the consumer uprising, Rami Levi, owner of the eponymous discount supermarkets chain, announced a special discount on all categories of cottage cheese, in force until Sunday: NIS 4.90 per 250 gram container. The chain normally sells the cheese for NIS 6.49 per container, while elsewhere the prices range from NIS 6.50 to NIS 7.50. "I hope other food chains lower cottage cheese prices too," he said.