The cost of food has been on the public’s mind a great deal in recent years, and the Made in Israel department in the Ministry of the Economy, which marks products made in Israel with a blue and white label, decided to conduct a survey in order to assess the effects of the public’s concern on the cost of living. The survey results, published today on Galei Tzahal (Army Radio), show the depth of public frustration.
The figures show that most Israelis say that that if they had to choose between a foreign food item and an Israeli-made food item costing 10% more, they would prefer the cheaper non-Israeli product. If the product in question is an article of clothing or furniture, however, consumers prefer buying local produced goods to imported ones.
These figures are alarming, because a similar survey conducted 18 months ago showed no such results. It appears that the continued rise in prices and popular protests about them have made people feel that they are being taken advantage of. The latest survey shows that 45% would prefer imported food products, compared with 33% who would prefer Israeli-made food products.
The survey also indicates that religiously observant and haredi (ultra-Orthodox) people attach greater importance to products being made in Israel, and kashrut may be part of the reason. In addition, there is a rise in the number of those in the 25-34 age bracket saying that the issue is of no importance to them, compared with those in the 55+ age bracket, for whom the issue is very important.
In total, there is an increase in the proportion of Israelis saying that they take care to buy Israeli goods – to 75%. On the other hand, there is also an increase from 17% to 20% in the proportion of saying they are unconcerned about buying Israeli goods.