Just three months after reducing the size of leading products that it markets, thereby raising their real price, food company Unilever Israel announced another price increase today. Unilever is increasing the price of its ice cream products by up to 4%.
Unilever announced a decrease in the size of the packages of its Kariot, Klik, and cracker products, thereby raising their real price, in October 2019. It is now raising the prices of the products that it sells under the Strauss Ice Cream brand (despite the name, these products are unrelated to the Strauss company).
Among the products whose prices will be raised are Cornetto ice cream-on-a-stick (3.1%), Magnum bars (2.7%), Solero bars (1%), and Solero and light packs (4.3%).
Like the wave of price rises last summer, which continued past the Jewish holiday season, Unilever's attributes its price increases to "an ongoing increase in prices of production inputs." Unilever says that it "absorbed the increased cost of inputs in recent years" and "took streamlining measures in order to avoid additional price hikes." Unilever adds, "The price was raised as a last resort, following thorough consideration, and does not reflect the full increase in input prices."
Unilever is raising its prices in the winter, when consumption of ice cream tends to be lower. Nevertheless, there are also products whose prices are not being raised now, among them Cremissimo, Glidonit, packs of Magnum, packs of Cornetto, and popsicles.
The summer of 2018 saw a wave of price increases of consumer products that began following in increase in paper prices. Kimberly Clark notified retailers at the time that it would raise prices of its products for the first time in six years, and was followed by the other paper suppliers: Sano, Shaniv, and the private brands of Shufersal and Rami Levy raised their prices. The food market followed suit. Tnuva, Israel's largest food company, was the first to raise prices of its dairy products not subject to price controls, followed shortly afterwards by Tara and Coca Cola Israel, Tempo, Jafora, Sugat, Wissotzky, and many others. Another company that tried to raise prices, but rescinded the raises, was Osem-Nestle. The timing with which it chose to announce it to the media, combined with increase in water and electricity prices, caused public outrage. The company was attacked and became the subject of a brief public protest, and Osem-Nestle retracted its announcement. As part of that wave of price increases, Unilever raised the price for retailers of the Krembo snack that it manufactures by 4%.
Four months ago, Unilever Israel announced that CEO Anat Gabriel would leave her post to become a VP in the global Unilever Group. No replacement for her has been officially announced yet. Unilever's prestige was severely damaged in the summer of 2016 when a salmonella infection was discovered in its breakfast cereal.
Unilever, one of the largest manufacturers of food and toiletries in Israel, is part of a major international corporation. The company has a 4.3% market share in consumer products sales in Israel. Unilever's sales totaled NIS 1.9 billion in the first eleven months of 2019, a mere 0.6% more than in the corresponding period in 2018.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 8, 2020
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