Tnuva Rules the Roost at Independent Grocery Stores

Tnuva is the largest supplier to private supermarkets, discount stores, convenience stores and corner grocery stores, according to data accumulated for 2003 by the StoreNext grocery management technology company. At the larger stores (hypermarkets and supermarkets), whose sales mix is identical to that at the large marketing chains, products made by Tnuva Dairies and Tnuva Meat (including Sunfrost frozen vegetable products) account for 11.8 percent of sales. In the medium-sized and small stores, Tnuva's products command 15.3 and 15 percent of sales respectively.

StoreNext's data is collated from 500 private supermarkets and minimarkets that account for some 20 percent of perishable consumer food product sales in Israel and have total annual sales of NIS 6 billion.

Tnuva Dairies alone accounts for 8.4 percent of sales in the large stores, 13.3 percent of sales in medium-sized stores, and 13 percent of sales in small stores - and ranks first in all the stores.

In second place at the large stores, but far behind Tnuva, is Osem-Nestle, whose products command 6.2 percent of sales. In the medium-sized stores, the second-largest supplier is Strauss, with 5.6 percent of sales. Strauss is also the second largest supplier to the small stores, with 7.2 percent of sales - about half the sales of Tnuva Dairies.

Strauss' weakness in relation to Tnuva is particularly prominent at the largest stores, where the former comes in in fifth place, behind Elite, whose share of sales is 4.5 percent. Together, Strauss and Elite (which are part of the Strauss-Elite Group) account for 9.5 percent of sales at the large stores, 10.9 percent of sales at medium stores, and 12.7 percent of sales at small stores.

This data shows that the large suppliers - Tnuva and Strauss-Elite - have much more marketing power in the small stores than at the medium-sized and large ones. The 10 largest suppliers of the small stores account for 53.6 percent of sales, compared to 47.3 percent of sales at the medium stores and 45.4 percent at the large stores.

StoreNext's annual rankings show that there are significant differences between the product mixtures in the sales of the large, medium and small stores. The rankings indicate, for example, that Israeli consumers do periodic volume shopping at the large stores, which explains why Osem-Nestle has more marketing power there (6.2 percent of purchases at large stores, compared to 5.6 and 5 percent of purchases at medium-sized and small stores, respectively) - because a large share of Osem-Nestle and Unilever (Telma) products are dry goods such as pasta, breakfast cereals, snack foods and coffee.

Smaller stores have greater marketing power

The smaller stores, which are usually frequented for supplementary shopping, the milk products, snack food, bread, cigarette and ice cream suppliers have greater marketing power. Angel Bakery, for example, is the ninth largest supplier to small stores, and does not even appear among the top 10 suppliers to medium-sized and large stores. Similarly, the Elisar and Dubek cigarette marketers are in seventh and eighth places respectively in the rankings for small stores, but do not appear on the list for medium-sized and large stores.

StoreNext's data also shows that the Israeli consumer buys frozen products mainly at the large and medium-sized stores. For example, Tnuva Meat, which also markets Sunfrost, is ranked in sixth place for the large stores and in ninth place for the medium-sized stores, but does not appear on the small stores' list. The Netto Group (formerly Meir Ezra Marketing), which specializes in frozen meat, fish and baked goods, is in tenth place on the large stores' list, but is not among the top 10 suppliers to medium-sized and small stores.

Ostiv, the Osem-Nestle subsidiary that distributes the group's chilled and frozen products - Tivol (soya products), Off Tov (poultry), Tsabar Salads and Dorot (frozen vegetable products) - is not among the top ten suppliers to the large stores, but is ranked seventh on the medium stores' list. Strauss Ice Cream is ranked tenth at small stores - thanks mainly to sales of individually packaged ice cream products - but is not among the top ten suppliers to either the medium or large stores.

In the consumer goods category (items such as disposable diapers and toilet paper), for which extensive shelf space is required, Hogla-Kimberly and Diplomat Cosmetics, which distributes Procter and Gamble products, are the dominant suppliers to the large and medium-sized stores, but do not appear on the list of the small stores. Hogla, which manufactures Lily toilet paper and both Huggies and Titulim disposable diapers, is the eighth largest supplier to the large and medium-sized stores.

Hogla products account for 3.1 percent of sales at large stores, and for only 2.1 percent of sales at medium-sized stores. Diplomat, which also distributes Materna infant formula, is the ninth largest supplier to the large stores, with 3 percent of sales, and tenth on the list for medium-sized stores, with 2 percent of sales.