Quiz. The name of this company? 15,000 employees (20 countries), including 6,000 in Israel. – Valley of Israel

The news had the effect of thunder: the discovery of traces of salmonella in Strauss products deprived the Israeli consumer of his favorite chocolates, ice cream and biscuits.

Misfortune is good for everything, the saying goes; the recall of Strauss products could be an opportunity to discover competing products and change some purchasing habits.

This is not a casual reminder; following the chocolate-based products produced on February 20, Strauss has extended the recall to all of its snacks, appetizers and other delicacies, produced in its factory in Nof Hagalil (formerly Nazareth Illit).

This massive recall is commensurate with the health risk incurred by consumers of Strauss products; it’s also a blow to a brand that has dominated the Israeli food market for decades.

Food monopoly

The Strauss Group is present in a wide range of daily consumer products in Israel; has also created a specialty of vegan and gluten-free products, increasingly sought after by Israelis.

He owns the favorite brands of Israelis, such as Elite (chocolate and coffee), Danone (yogurt), Achla (hummus), Doritos (snack), Yotvata (milk), Tami (water) and others.

In total, Strauss holds 12% of the food and beverage market; a market that it shares with other large agri-food groups, such as Osem and Tnuva.

In some areas, its market shares have made Strauss a monopoly, such as chocolate bars (52% of the market), sweet snacks (42%) and chewing gum (27%).

Over the years, Strauss has grown internationally, forging alliances with other similar groups around the world; he now employs 15,000 people in 20 different countries, including 6,000 in Israel, and has a turnover of NIS 9 billion (€ 2.6 billion).

Good to take

No doubt a band the size of Strauss made mistakes in manufacturing, leading to the biggest appeal the country has ever seen in its 74-year history.

This massive recall will force the consumer to change their shopping habits; which confirms that even in a painful event there is always something good to take.

The Israeli consumer will find that competing products are just as delicious, healthy and sometimes cheaper than Strauss products.

By fostering competition, Strauss’s lure will therefore be an opportunity for consumers to diversify their purchases by curbing the waltz of labels.

This will also make it possible to mitigate the weight of food industry monopolies that make rain and good weather affect consumer habits.

Simplification of controls

An opportunity also for the Ministry of Health to review its health standards and strengthen quality controls on food production chains.

But this crisis should above all be an opportunity for public authorities to restore some order to the food safety control chain.

Today there are a multitude of administrations that each deal with a food control phase: Ministries of Industry, Agriculture, Health, Environmental Protection, etc.

To make the system more efficient, the time has come to create a central food authority that will be solely responsible for controlling the quality and safety of the food that ends up on the Israeli plate.

So yes, bad luck is good for everything …

About the author

Jacques Bendelac is an economist and social science researcher in Jerusalem, where he has lived since 1983. He has a doctorate in economics from the University of Paris. He taught economics at the Jerusalem Higher Institute of Technology from 1994 to 1998 and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 2002 to 2005. Today he teaches Israeli economics at Netanya University College. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Israel and Israeli-Palestinian relations. He is in particular the author of “The Arabs of Israel” (Autrement, 2008), “Israel-Palestine: tomorrow, two partner states? »(Armand Colin, 2012),« The Israelis, hypercreative! (with Mati Ben-Avraham, Ateliers Henry Dougier, 2015) and “Israel, mode d’emploi” (Editions Plein Jour, 2018). He regularly comments on economic news in the Middle East in the French and Israeli media.

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