Stimulated by the strong domestic food production industry and high per capita incomes, as well as by the expansion of modern retailing, household expenditure in Israel has grown in recent years. However, private consumption is set to slow over the coming year, with austerity measures hitting private and government consumption. Increasing unemployment levels and a fairly mature food retail market with relatively high spending on food and drink present further obstacles for significant growth opportunities.
Headline Industry Data (local currency)
- Per capita food consumption growth (y-o-y) in 2013: +2.34%; CAGR to 2017: +3.01%
- Alcoholic drinks value sales growth (y-o-y) in 2013: +0.64%; CAGR to 2017: +1.02%
- Soft drinks values sales growth (y-o-y) in 2013: +6.20%; CAGR to 2017: +6.67
- Mass grocery retail sales growth (y-o-y) in 2013: +2.96%; CAGR to 2017: +3.80%
Key Company Trends
Frutarom entering functional foods category: In June 2013 Israeli chemical flavourings and fragrance company Frutarom has announced plans to enter the functional foods sector, reports Food Business Review. Frutarom spokesperson Holger Riemens Perger said that the company offers an innovative service to prospective partners in the food and beverage industry, capable of meeting the demands for 'functional product success in terms of taste and health'.
McDonald's Israel shuns proposal to expand beyond border: In June 2013, McDonald's Israel, the Israeli licensee of the US-based fast-food chain, has rejected plans to open a restaurant in a mall in the Israeli settlement of Ariel because it is beyond the 1967 Israeli border. The move has attracted criticism from pro-settlers and supermarket-chain owner Rami Levy, who is developing the mall through a private company, Rami Levi Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd. Levy says McDonald's Israel should not mix politics and business.
Rhone capital to Acquire Mayanot Eden's European and Israeli businesses: In June 2013 Israel-based bottled water and water cooler supplier Mayanot Eden agreed to sell its Israeli and European businesses to US private equity firm Rhone Capital for a cash consideration of EUR70mn (US$93.4mn). The two businesses being put up for s ale have an enterprise value of EUR240mn (US$320.2mn), with EUR170mn (US$226.8mn) of debt. Eden is present in 15 countries and distributes more than 450mn litres of water every year to around 600,000 customers. Mayanot Eden is better known for its Eden Springs office water cooler brand.
Higher Food Prices Now on the Agenda: Many of Israel's food and drink companies have been facing very tough operating conditions over the past year or so. In particular, many firms were unable to pass on higher costs to consumers owing to the widespread regional discontent linked to higher food prices. Nestle's Israeli unit Osem, which produces a number of products including coffee and breakfast cereals, is one company that is reported to have absorbed the bulk of the higher input costs; however, it has now been forced to announce price hikes given the global rise in raw material prices. Osem announced that it would raise its prices by 4.8% on average for many of its goods, effective from November 1 2012.
SodaStream Expands Geographic Reach: During 2012, Israel-based manufacturer of beverage syrup and carbonation machines SodaStream has been boosting its geographic reach through new distribution deals. At the beginning of the year, the company bought back the Nordic and Baltic distribution rights to its business from distributor Empire AB and then signed a co-branding deal in the USA for the use of Kraft's flavours in its soft drinks machines. Towards the end of the year, SodaStream announced plans to launch in Chile through Volta, a food and drug supplier, while the company's products will also go on sale in Singapore through retailer Takashimaya via a partnership with home supplier Yeo Teck Seng.
Key Risks To Outlook
Economic Risks: In particular, the potential for a further deterioration of the situation in the eurozone remains elevated, which would then weigh heavily on Israeli exports and foreign investment inflows.