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ShoppingIsrael Consumerism: Shopping Survey

Israel Consumerism: Shopping Survey

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Last Updated on November 21, 2021

The Shopping Habits of the Anglo Community in Israel

Survey Results – November 2014

Newcomers to Israel often ask where the best places are to shop, the best products and the best deals. Israel’s Anglo community has different standards, expectations and shopping habits. We are all tempted by special offers and appealing adverts in the media, but if we are disciplined, manage our finances and curb our spending, we can save enough money to take a short holiday every year!!!

Our recent survey “Living Comfortably in Israel” was well received by the community.  So we designed a new survey wherein we explored our shopping habits.

Three hundred people participated in the survey.  Statistics acknowledge that the margin of error with this number of respondents is 6%. The respondents come from a cross section of the community.  The survey was advertised in English speaking Facebook groups across the country.  It was also advertised on the local list serves. Members of our mailing list were also invited to participate as were all visitors to the site.  We asked that only residents of Israel participate.  A very small percentage of respondents did not adhere to this request.  The youngest respondent was 19 years old and the oldest was 84.

Here are the survey results and respondents’ comments

Israel’s English speaking community:

%
87 Are doing the bulk of their grocery shopping at the supermarket
56.5 Shop at the shuk on a fairly regular basis
35.5 Do not shop at the local kiosk/makolet
49 Shop at specialized food stores on a fairly regular basis
68 Never shop for food on-line
4.6 Shop daily
71 Shop weekly
7.9 Shop bi-monthly
7.4 Shop monthly
66.5 Do “fill-in” shopping in addition to their weekly, bi-monthly and monthly shop
70 Always use a shopping list
9.5 Never use a shopping list
64 Mainly stick to their shopping list
11 Resist the temptation to buy special-offer items if they are not on the shopping list
 56 Shop in accordance to their religious beliefs
 53 Have medical conditions that influence their food purchases
 33.5 Buy organic products some or all of the time
52.5 Have some trouble understanding the labeling information
30 Prefer to buy imported products because they can clearly understand the labeling.
59 Will buy food specifically from their countries of origin.   It’s comforting and makes them feel better.
56 Believe that imported food tastes better than local food
26.5 Are regularly not checking the nutritional information on the label
30 Put the cost of a food item above its nutritional value
71 Prefer to buy the cheapest brand
17 Will always buy their favorite brand irrespective of price
52.5 Will buy special offer items even if they are not going to use them within 6 weeks
61 Almost never buy items offered to them at the checkout
52 Make charitable donations at the checkout
15 Use cash only to pay for food
75 Have loyalty/club cards
18 Will specifically shop at a store because they have their loyalty card
42 Never or almost never use discount coupons
3.8 Almost never check their till slips
16 Never or almost never return a defective product to the store
50 Will always or sometimes complain to a manufacturer/distributor/importer about a defective product
84 Will always use a store credit
12 Will always or sometimes haggle the price if possible.
58 Always shop alone
25.5 Always shop with a companion
62 Never or almost never go shopping with children
12 Never do comparative shopping
41 Are creatures of habit and always shop at the same supermarket
 56 Always or almost always shop at the supermarket closest to their homes
 11 Shop at the supermarket closest to their place of work
 52 Are not prepared to travel up to 10km to do their shopping
 7.5 Have no option but to travel long distances to do shopping
 64 Will never or almost never walk to the shops
24 Are reliant on public transport to do their shopping
63 Will always use their cars to get to the shops
71 Never or almost never use the supermarket’s delivery service
4.2 Do not have credit cards
76 Have more than one credit card
72 Say that their supermarket does not have English speaking staff
16 Will choose to shop at a store knowing they have English speaking staff
56 Of supermarkets or places we do grocery shopping are user friendly for the elderly, handicapped or infirm
37 Think it unfair that we will have to pay for shopping bags

Preferred Shopping Times

Mornings Afternoons Evenings
41% 31.5% 27.5%

What does the Anglo community believe?

%
16.5 Firmly believe that food prices could be cheaper if we had to pay with cash only i.e. no credit cards or installments. The rest do not believe so or are undecided
51 Believe that their emotions play a part in their food shopping choices. The rest do not or are undecided
67 Believe that stores manipulate us into making purchases
72 Believe that if you shop carefully you can save huge amounts of money. The rest do not or are undecided
Some extra information
%
29 Of respondents were male
71 Of respondents were female
71.7 Of respondents are married
8.4 Of respondents are single
10.1 Of respondents are divorced
4 Of respondents are widowed
4.1 Are living together in a committed relationship
Occupation
 %
 17 Of respondents are retired
 8 Of respondents are homemakers
66 Of respondents are employed or self employed
4 Of respondents are unemployed
3 Other: Students, have no need to work etc.
2 Of respondents did not answer according to the instructions
Monthly household income
%
5.2 30,000+
9.7 20,000 – 29,999
32.5 10,000 – 19,999
32.4 5,000 – 9,999
9.4 up to 4,999
10.8 Refused to answer
Location
%
35 02 Jerusalem and surrounds
15.5 03 Gush Dan
23 04 Haifa and the North
14.8 08 Beer Sheva and the South
11.1 09 The Sharon
0.6 Did not answer according to the instructions
And lastly,
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being disastrous and 5 being wonderful the respondents gave the Israeli shopping experience a 3.05 rating

We received a flood of comments and these are some of them:

  • Decent priced cereal and dairy products are lacking
  • Prices vary drastically from one store to another and one area to another. Although there are sometimes terrific deals, it seems that price gouging is the norm.
  • Customer service and the general atmosphere in any food store is bottom of the barrel. It is clear no one employed at any store cares about my presence or what I am looking for when I need help. The best help I have had has come from Israeli customers- their curiosity has been to my advantage. All stores carry mostly low quality products- for example the worst toilet paper and paper towels on earth since 1977. The companies here, in this ‘high-tech’ country, need to get on board with what is available to the American public. To add a high point, shopping at the shuk, despite the rudeness and noise, brings in to our house fresh and delicious fruit and vegetables- often of quality that cost much more in the USA.
  • Import costs are way too high
  • Prices could be lower on many items. Staff could be friendlier and less obstructive
  • Cleanliness in some shops/supermarkets, more user friendly staff, shelf filling when the shop is closed, not getting better service from the cashier when you speak Russian!
  • More English on labels, lower prices particularly on staple foods, better loyalty vouchers, more online shopping opportunities with delivery outside of main towns
  • Price mark all products on the shelves
  • I moved to the Golan and my food bill jumped up 25% , which is surprising since I lived in Gush Etzion and it was expensive there
  • It is very difficult to get down the aisles as the shelf fillers leave card board etc. all over the floor. Products don’t seem to be grouped together by type, they are dotted all over the place, making it difficult to compare what is available.
  • Supermarkets in Israel are years behind supermarkets for example in the UK. The product range is very small, customer service is non existent. Some supermarkets don’t even have baskets as opposed to a trolley. The queues at the checkouts are beyond a joke. In summary I avoid supermarkets unless i really have to.
  • Stores are deceptive in marking sale products! They post a sign in front of an item giving the new price and when you get to the check-out, the sale prices only refers to certain bar code items within the group. Now I make sure that each item I buy has a price tag on it because of this. Also, sale tags are often in Hebrew and are tricky for novice speakers if you don’t know their system. Specials may only apply to card holders of that store. The safest way shop is at the shuk where you bargain one-on-one with each seller.
  • Food that I have to buy for my celiac daughter is very expensive. there is currently a campaign to lower the price of gluten-free food.
  • What is lacking primarily is a sense of not knowing what is lacking. Apathy and making do with mediocre is symptomatic of so many aspects of Israeli society. Cashiers do not even bother to advance shopping on the conveyor belt even though they can do so simply by pushing a button. The pile up of groceries (often simply thrown) at the checkout is ludicrous. Go see what happens in other countries…it is possible for the cashier to scan and pack or, at least, to have someone help to pack. One supermarket displays yoghurt at the counters. When i pointed out this could be a health hazard they assured me they change the yoghurt tubs every two hours! The store itself, Maayan 2000 at Mahane Yehuda, stinks of sewerage…the store (whether inadvertently or not) cheats customers by over-charging on products marked at lower prices. I HATE food shopping in Israel!!! The only decent shops (Osher Ad and Rami Levi) do not deliver.
  • Much lacking compared to Canada. No choices for lactose free skim milk and yogurt. Limited choices in general. Narrow aisles often obstructed with stocking carts . Poor customer service, rude staff
  • Prices are generally high; however some prices are probably very reasonable
  • Cut import duties on foods. Allow open competition. Break the monopolies. Stop price fixing.
  • Speed up the lines leading to the checkout points.
  • Getting your produce at the Shuk gives you MUCH better value and quality
  • It’s outrageous that we pay a luxury tax on food! I’ve tried to go w/out-doesn’t work so food isn’t luxury!
  • I believe posted sale signs are intentionally misleading, if you don’t check to make sure the UPC matches you will likely chose an item thinking it’s on sale when it is actually not. In fact many times the items offered on sale are not available in the store at all. I believe one must be very cautious shopping here in Israel
  • Shop at Rami Levi, buy mostly free products and milk and meat, working mum that cooks from scratch and hardly uses ready made products, which ensures that your food bill stays down.
  • I love shopping..always have so not a big deal to shop here 🙂
  • The prices charged in the supermarkets, is disgusting. Tnuva and other Israeli companies are greedy and take far too much money. Now days, imported goods are now CHEAPER than generic!. Tnuva are the greediest out of all the companies out there. If you stand still long enough you can see the prices going up. Butter?????? ridiculous price. Lurpack is now cheaper!
  • Osher Ad is the only store I’ve found here that doesn’t try to rip you off by marking prices that they won’t honor or that ring up as more at the cash register unless you call them on it. So I try to do all my shopping there. To the point where when I try to choose our apt. location based on Osher Ad accessibility.
  • We buy too little produce because it simply costs too much
  • It takes months to get used to adjusting menus based on what is easily available here vs states, even before thinking about price or taste.
  • Shopping in Israel is a traumatic experience – every time. shops are small, aisles are narrow, trolleys hardly work, queues are long, assistants are generally unhelpful
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