couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

What happened to all the coupons?

Hi folks- January has been a really quiet month coupon-wise.  I have been out of the country most of this month, but even so I have been hard-pressed to find good deals to pass on to you.

One of the reasons why came from Tnuva, who gave this answer on their Facebook page when people like me went looking for new coupons and found none:

“בעקבות חקיקת חוק המזון בנוגע לפרסום קופונים ומבצעים בין ספקי מזון לרשתות השיווק, בשלב זה אין באפשרותנו להציע קופונים עבור מוצרי תנובה. “
“The new food law states that it is forbidden to advertise coupons and sales between food distributors and supermarket chains, so at this point Tnuva is unable to provide coupons for Tnuva products.”
That is a strange statement.  Firstly, there is a draft of the revised food law, but it hasn’t come into effect-it hasn’t even been read once by the Knesset, so it is hard to believe that Tnuva is so responsible that they are abiding by a possible new law which might come into effect possibly for years.  You can read the draft here if you are so inclined- the final date to send in comments has passed, however.  It is 104 pages and I must admit I haven’t read it cover to cover yet.  I did a quick search for the words “coupon”, “advertise”, “sale”, and “food distributors” and was unable to find the part that Tnuva is referring to.  I probably need to read it more carefully because when I jumped to the Strauss Sheli web site to look for coupons, I found this message:
״בינואר 2015 נכנס לתוקפו ״חוק המזון״ ובו נקבעו, בין היתר, מגבלות מסוימות לגבי חלוקת קופונים לצרכנים. החברה בוחנת את סוגי ומאפייני הקופונים אותם ניתן לחלק בכפוף להוראות החוק ותפעל לחלוקת קופונים בהתאם למותר על פי הדין.״
OK, now I know that the new food law is a draft- therefore it has not in effect as Strauss says. So what is going on?  Is this some sort of show against the new law or is it a convenient excuse not to provide coupons?  The Israeli Chamber of Commerce doesn’t mention this issue in their comments and neither does the Israeli Manufacturer’s Organization– the umbrella organization for manufacturers such as Strauss and Tnuva.  That means that the issue is not really important to manufacturers (if it really exists).  The issue should be important to the Israel Consumer Council though- if anyone is concerned, they should be.  Despite their detailed list about what the new law means for consumers, there is no mention of coupons being forbidden.  Some of the practices that the new law does forbid include: the purchasing of preferable shelf space in a supermarket, forcing the recommended price of an item on a seller, limiting supermarket space to 50% for extremely large companies, and forcing consumers to buy a less-preferred product to get a low-priced preferred product.  You can read more on their web site.  I might say that forbidding a recommended price MIGHT be related to coupons, but it isn’t very clear to me at all.
At this point I am perturbed.  Are you?  I can’t see any reason to forbid coupons.  If limiting coupons to particular supermarkets is what Misrad HaBriut feels is preferential treatment that should be stopped, then have coupons valid at all supermarkets!  Maybe the whole point of coupons was a joint deal to promote certain supermarkets?!?!
If this issue bothers you as much as it bothers me, complain!  Click on the names to file a complaint and make sure to mention “Chok HaMazon” חוק המזון.
  1. Strauss (Hebrew) (English) (Facebook)
  2. Tnuva (Facebook)
  3. Israel Consumer Council
  4. Misrad HaBriut
  5. Manufacturers Association of Israel

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4 thoughts on “What happened to all the coupons?

  1. joshinariel on said:

    At least Superpharm has not changed their policy and they still advertise food coupons regularly in Yisrael Hayom.

  2. Debbie on said:

    here is what the Israel Consumer Counsel answered me:
    חוק המזון אמנם עבר, אבל עדיין נדרשת חתימה של שר הכלכלה
    במילים אחרות: זה יחכה עד אחרי הבחירות והרכבת הממשלה החדשה

  3. Debbie on said:

    I sent a follow up question:
    האם החוק אוסר או מתוכנן לאסור פרסום קופונים ומבצעים בין ספקי מזון לרשתות השיווק?

    and they answered:
    לא. אבל לא יהיו יותר מבצעים דוגמת “עוף בשקל” כמו המבצע המפורסם של רמי לוי
    החוק מגביל את יכולת רשתות השיווק לפתות את הצרכנים במבצעים במחיר נמוך מעלות אספקת המוצר לקמעונאי.

    למידע נוסף
    http://www.consumers.org.il/item/food_law

    read the article – it’s fascinating!

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