couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Archive for the tag “canned tuna”

RECALL: Poseidon tuna in oil

Misrad HaBriut tested Poseidon tuna in oil and found high levels of histamine in it- above the maximum permitted level .  The affected batch is being recalled.  The public is asked not to eat this product.  It can be returned for compensation by calling Wiliger customer service at 1-800-50-40-50.

Details about the product:

נתחי טונה קטנה בשמן “פוסידון”:

960 grams, bar code 7290002657408

Manufacturing date: 4 February 2015

Use by date: February 2019

For more information about histamine poisoning, check out this web site.


Class action suit- canned tuna is too flaky

Canned tuna is once again in the news:

A class action suit was filed last week against local tuna manufacturers for using more tuna flakes than the 10% per 5 grams which is allowed by law.  Laboratories tested products and found over 10% of flakes in tuna marked “chunks” – netachim.  According to the plaintiffs, tuna flakes are of a much lower quality than tuna chunks.

Source: Nana

Check out the other canned tuna post here.

Canned tuna prices are going down

One of the ways the government supports Israeli industry is to tax an imported product if that same product is also produced locally.  That seems like a good thing, no? As a Zionist, we all want to support Israeli industry, right?

However, sometimes this comes at a price – literally.  When there are only a few Israeli manufacturers of a certain product it is relatively easy to fix prices – and not to the benefit of the consumer.  This happened with bread and dairy products in recent years.  Naftali Bennet stated that one of his aims to lower prices to the consumer is to lower import taxes which will force local prices to decrease.

Next on the chopping block- canned tuna.  After years of fighting, Yair Lapid finally signed an act lowering the import tax on canned tuna gradually over the next few years.  Manufacturers say  flooding the market with cheap, low quality products will force them out of business because they can’t produce canned tuna at the same cost as manufacturers in countries such as China and Thailand.

So how low will the price go before you stop buying blue and white?  Or are you Zionist at any price?

FYI there are five manufacturers of canned tuna in Israel:

  1. Starkist (AKA Yonah)
  2. Pri HaGalil
  3. Wiliger (AKA Poseidon)
  4. Filtuna
  5. Adi

Source: Ynetnews

Can I trust the store brand? (the Milky switcheroo)

In a previous post, I said that I would delve deeper into the concept of generics, otherwise known as store brands, and why I like them so much.

As a frugal shopper, it is of the utmost importance to read the labels of whatever food item you buy, to know whether it is a good deal or not. Today we are going to compare labels to show you the differences between store brands and brand name items.

There are several big-name manufacturers in Israel, whose names we recognize on the label. But what about the store brands- who makes them and where?

Every processed product sold in Israel must have either the manufacturer’s name and contact information or a manufacturer’s code with the name and contact information of the distributor. The codes must be registered with and approved by Misrad HaKalkala, the governmental agency regarding trade and manufacture.

While I was in the store recently, I came across “Duli” brand tuna. Who ever heard of Duli?

duli-2 duli-1

As you can see, it says that it is manufactured by “K”- whoever that is.

Actually, K is the code for Starkist. You may also notice that this tuna has the same hashgacha as Starkist (Rabbanut Tirat HaCarmel) and also uses the GMP symbol which Starkist uses.

So right now I am feeling pretty good about Duli tuna, especially when it is a shekel a can cheaper than Starkist.  But whether it the same quality as the brand-name Starkist can or not I will have to let you know.

Both Globes and The Marker investigated the cost of store brands- otherwise known as generics.    For some reason Israelis don’t like generic products- they covered only 6.8% of the market this year as compared to 7.4% in 2012.  That is very low- especially when you compare it to America, where they are 22% of the market and Britain, where they are 45% of the market.  For the supermarkets, the generic brand earns them more money per sale so it is in their interest to push them to the consumer.

Purchasing generics is the only way to force companies to lower prices, says Rafi Shefer, who represents “HaMutag” brand.  Always purchasing the brand name but at sale prices won’t convince the industry to lower their prices, because they know that once you are “hooked” on a brand, you will purchase it even after the sale is over, but at the higher price.

So how much can you save by buying generics? According to Globes, up to 18% of your grocery bill.  Some products are up to 95% cheaper than the brand name product:

If you compare prices per store, you can see a dramatic difference:

OK, so the prices are much better.  But are the products edible?  Generics can come from several sources; small companies looking to get a foothold in the market, manufacturers in other countries such as Turkey, and even large companies here in Israel.  For example, you saw the Duli tuna is made by Starkist.  Shufersal tuna is made by Wiliger, Pri HaGalil manufactures Shufersal canned corn, and Maadanei Yechiam manufactures Shufersal deli meat.  Same products, different package, and up to 56% cheaper than the brand name product.

Some products are not such a great deal, however.  My family notices a definite difference in quality between most Sanfrost frozen vegetables and other generic brands. Some of my family members will eat generic shkedei marak but others refuse.

Now that we are educated consumers, it is time to return to the volatile Milky, which is sold for much cheaper in Berlin.  As we learned, you can’t compare brand name prices with generic product prices.  Because that is what the German “Milky” is- a discount brand manufactured for a discount supermarket, Aldi.  You can see the “Milky” pictures on a previous post– the pudding is manufactured by Ursi which is only sold in Aldi stores as written on the receipt.  Aldi stores are known around the world as deep discount supermarket.   You can read more about generic products sold in Germany here.  On the same web site, they list the Ursi chocolate pudding is manufactured by MBP Dairy Products GmbH.  To make this less confusing, I will make comparisons with Israeli product names:

Aldi = Victory or Osher Ad (not a completely equivalent comparison)

Ursi = “Hamutag” or “Kniyah Chachama”

MBP Dairy Products GmbH = Pri HaGalil or lower quality manufacturer

The take-home message of this post is not to be afraid of generics, but always read the label and know what the product is that you are purchasing.  Always compare apples with apples, although in this case it is pudding with pudding.  I don’t know if the Ursi generic is the same quality as the brand name Milky- it might be, but it is absolutely wrong to compare their prices.

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