Before Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), the meat market wars are escalating. One week after the Shufersal Ltd. (TASE:SAE) supermarket chain launched its private brand of meat, Tnuva Food Industries Ltd., the chief victim of Shufersal's measure, decided for the first time to import fresh meat from Poland, and to sell it at prices similar to those of frozen meat.
This means that Tnuva will sell the meat to supermarket chains at lower prices than Shufersal's fresh meat. Nevertheless, the prices of Shufersal's Angus brand will still be lower than Tnuva's Adom Adom brand.
In order to avoid damaging its Adom Adom brand, which Tnuva is marketing as a premium product, the meat imported from Poland will not be branded at all, not even with the Tnuva brand. Tnuva says that every chain can label it as they wish, even as a private label.
Tnuva sources told "Globes" that Tnuva will sell the fresh meat from Poland at prices 30-35% lower than the prices of Adom Adom, and that assuming that the chains keep the same level of profit as for defrosted meat, Tnuva's prices for fresh meat will be the same as prices for defrosted meat, or no more than 9% higher. In this way, Tnuva believes, the price of fresh meat from Poland will be lower than the current prices of Shufersal Angus label meat.
Tnuva's new plan comes a few days after an announcement by the Ministry of Agriculture that it would approve Poland as a country from which fresh meat could be imported. This approval, now given to Poland for the first time, follows a visit to Poland by the Ministry of Agriculture department of veterinary services.
Up until now, Tnuva imported calves to Israel, and the slaughtering process took place in Israel. Tnuva is now dogging the footsteps of Shufersal by importing fresh meat sections instead of calves. For this purpose, Tnuva has come to an agreement with the slaughterhouse in Poland to slaughter the calves for it. The slaughtering process has already begun, and Tnuva hopes that the first delivery of meat will reach Israel before Rosh Hashanah.
In contrast to Shufersal, which has to import its meat by air, Tnuva will import the meat from Poland in ships - a process that will greatly reduce the cost of importing.
Last week, Shufersal launched its Angus brand, saying it was 10-30% cheaper than the fresh meat on the market. Shufersal made a comparison with the prices at which fresh meat is sold in Rami Levy Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd. (TASE:RMLI). Following this launch, Rami Levi also lowered its prices for the fresh meat supplied to it.
In Israel, the cheapest meat is frozen, defrosted meat is medium-priced, and fresh meat is the most expensive. Defrosted meat is actually frozen meat that has been thawed, processed with material being added, and sold as "aged" meat from frozen meat. In Israel, this constitutes the largest part of the market - 13,000 tons a year, compared with 10,000 tons of fresh meat and 10,000 tons of frozen meat.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 23, 2015
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015