Ice cream, pasta and sushi are latest products to see price hikes

Alongside Golda and Japanika, products from food importer Diplomat and pasta maker Barilla also expected to soon cost more

Customers at a branch of the Golda ice cream company (Screen grab/Channel 12)
Customers at a branch of the Golda ice cream company (Screen grab/Channel 12)

Ice cream chain Golda and sushi restaurant Japanika said Sunday that they were raising their prices, stoking fears of a wave of hikes across the economy.

Since the announcement by food giant Osem last week of its price hike, analysts have raised concerns that other manufacturers could follow, adding to the woes of Israelis already battling a sky-high cost of living.

The near-ubiquitous Golda controls much of the ice cream parlor market in Israel. With the chain raising prices by 3 percent, a kilogram of ice cream now costs NIS 108 (nearly $35).

Golda said the price hike did not apply to servings bought in stores, but only to ice cream sold by the half-kilo or kilo, “and is a direct result of rising costs of raw materials, packaging materials, related products and also taxation.”

Ice cream at a branch of Golda (Screen grab/Channel 12)

Meanwhile, Japanika has raised the cost of all items on its menu by NIS 2-3, a small increase that could have a large impact on a family’s restaurant tab. The sushi chain told Channel 12 that the price hikes came after two years without increases.

Sushi prepared at a branch of Japanika (Screen grab/Channel 12 news)

Additionally, the Diplomat import company, which brings in many international brands to Israel such as Oreo, has told independent stores it would no longer be offering them on sale, effectively raising prices.

Prices were also expected to rise for products made by the Barilla pasta company, Channel 12 news reported, with consumers potentially paying 6-10 percent more starting February.

The announcements came after Osem and McDonald’s announced last week they were raising the prices of their products, leading to calls for boycotts.

Osem said that starting in February it would raise the prices of its products by 3%-7%, owing to a rise in the cost of basic ingredients. Osem is one of the largest producers of food products in Israel, selling pantry staples including pasta, ketchup, cereals, crackers and the popular peanut snack Bamba. As such, its price hike has a major impact on most Israeli pantries.

In several supermarkets, activists were seen placing stickers on Osem products calling on consumers to boycott the brand, and several politicians also spoke out against the move.

Products from Osem on a grocery store shelf on December 29, 2021, in Jerusalem. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Earlier this month, Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman said that bringing down the cost of living was the major challenge facing the government, which is also struggling to bring down spiraling property prices.

Outrage over prices is growing a decade after Israel last saw widespread social unrest on the matter.

A price hike in cottage cheese, an Israeli staple, was the first spark that led to the 2011 “tent revolution,” which saw young Israelis furious at sharp rises in rents and cost of living erect shelters on the upmarket Rothschild Boulevard in the heart of Tel Aviv. Thousands of protesters soon took to the streets across Israel, shouting slogans demanding social justice. However, the movement ultimately did little to affect rising costs.

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