couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

Archive for the tag “osher ad”

EXPOSED: Kashrut and health violations in Osher Ad

Do you buy fresh meat from the counter at Osher Ad in Jerusalem?  If so, you want to watch this video published today by Arutz 10.  The Hebrew is difficult to follow (I watched it twice) but to summarize, this is what they found in two Osher Ad supermarkets:

  1. Sanitary violations- picking up meat from the floor at putting it back in the display, dirty floors
  2. Health violations- grinding fresh and frozen meat together, selling expired products
  3. Kashrut violations- the mashgiach for Kehillot splitting the same piece of meat into Badatz Beit Yosef (Atara) and Kehillot, grinding both hashgachot together and selling it as Atara, the worker adding holograms to packages of meat without instruction from the mashgiach.

Badatz Beit Yosef’s response was that they do not have a mashgiach on the premises of Osher Ad.  Therefore, any meat that is sold in Osher Ad under Atara is prepared and supervised in a different place and brought to Osher Ad already packaged with a hologram.   In the video, however, a worker actually put holograms on packages of meat that were prepared in the store with an Atara label.

Osher Ad’s response on their Facebook page:

The videos that have recently been published are staged.   There is no connection between what you see in the video and the narration that accompanies and interprets it.  The chain promises always and forever to stand by our promise to the consumer to provide low prices, the highest kashrut and quality standards.  That is how we have acted and that is how we will continue to act.

What do you think? I personally have never been in an Osher Ad but I know a lot of readers are- does the video tell the truth?  The votes on Osher Ad’s Facebook page are 50% positive and 50% negative right now.

Rami Levy is the cheapest for Pesach shopping throughout Israel

Yediot Achronot published an article this Friday comparing prices for various Pesach items in different supermarkets in various cities.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the full article- just a few photographs from Rami Levy’s Facebook page– but here are the results (from the cheapest to the most expensive):

Greater Gush Dan (48 products):

  1. Rami Levy, Mitcham Ayalon- 476.30 shekels
  2. Osher Ad, Mitcham Ayalon- 599.20 shekels
  3. YOU, Yigal Alon 73, Yad Eliyahu- 611.15 shekels
  4. Victory, Derech Shlomo 44, Tel Aviv- 622 shekels
  5. Shufersal Deal, Azrielli Tel Aviv- 640.01 shekels

Modiin (56 products):

  1. Rami Levy, Yishpru- 665.20 shekels
  2. Yaynot Bitan, Yishpru- 821.30 shekels
  3. Shufersal Deal, Yishpru- 879.01 shekels
  4. YOU, Malibu Center- 912.50 shekels

Haifa (57 products):

  1. Rami Levy, Chalutzei HaTaasia 73, Kiryat Haim- 709.70 shekels
  2. Yochannof, HaHaroshet 10, Hutzot HaMifratz- 850.30 shekels
  3. YOU, Priman 8, Mitcham Kastra- 892.10 shekels
  4. Osher Ad, HaNes Mular, Kiryat Bialik- 896.20 shekels
  5. Shufersal Deal, Kenyon HaYesod 20, Kiryat Ata- 914.21 shekels

Jerusalem (36 products):

  1. Rami Levy, Beit HaDfus 13- 423.10 shekels
  2. Osher Ad, Kenyon Hadar- 504.60 shekels
  3. Shufersal Deal, Kanfei Nesharim 24- 539.95 shekels
  4. Zol u’B’gadol, Romema- 578.30 shekels


Is this place for real???

If you saw a food product that is suspicious for whatever reason or if you would like to know if a food manufacturer or caterer has a manufacturers’ license from Misrad Habriut, click on this link to look up the manufacturer.  You can also find out what products they are licensed to manufacture.

Some examples:

  • Osher Ad in Givat Shaul in Jerusalem has a license as a butcher (אטליז).  That means that they are allowed to package ground beef without a customer present. (A butcher without a manufacturers’ license can only grind meat in front of the customer)
  • Meatland in Raanana has a license to manufacture refrigerated and frozen prepared foods and frozen dough to be sold on the premises only.
  • Kibbutz Shalavim’s kitchen has a license to manufacture prepared foods to be sold off the premises (e.g. a catering hall).

What does it mean if the food business you are looking up is not on the list?  First of all, you should know that restaurants, supermarkets, and food stands do not get a manufacturers’ license from Misrad HaBriut- they get a business licence from the municipality they are located in.  If you still think the business should be on the list and is not, contact your district health office through the link on the page or the central line at *5400.

Another important point to make is that caterers that provide food to educational institutions must have a manufacturers license.  Find out who caters the hot meals in your child’s school/gan/tzaharon and make sure they have an up to date license.   The requirement is not applicable for private educational facilities and food that is not brought into the school by the school (e.g. vaad horim), but is a minimum standard that you should insist upon.  The section that applies to catering is titled “מזון מוכן להגשה מחוץ למקום הכנתו – הסעדה (קייטרינג) כריכים”.

Jerusalem price wars: Rami Levy vs. Osher Ad

Yediot Yerushalayim compared prices of basic grocery items in the Rav Hen Rami Levy to the Kanyon Hadar Osher Ad.  Rami Levy came out significantly cheaper for every product:

IMG_3224.JPGSo despite that fact that this Osher Ad just opened, it doesn’t appear to be attracting customers with loss leaders.  Let the buyer beware.


A new Osher Ad opening tomorrow, 15 Sept 2014 in Talpiot

I just received a tip from a reader that a new Osher Ad is opening tomorrow, 15 September 2014 in Kanyon Hadar in Talpiot, Jerusalem.  I didn’t know where the new store is opening because this is the ad on Osher Ad’s Facebook page:

Osher Ad is opening in what was formerly Mega Bul and is close to Rami Levy and Shufersal Deal.  Osher Ad has a strong following without advertising or even a web page, known for their good prices and their Costco products.  Here is a list of their branches, phone numbers, and hours:

I recommend that everyone go and check it out- they are bound to have some amazing deals.  Let us know if Costco products can be found there as well!

Sources: Michael Rose and Globes

Costco products in Osher Ad- official update

A recent article from Globes brings good news for Costco lovers- Kirkland brand products are here to stay!

The store decided to import a well-known generic brand instead of creating their own.  They are currently selling five items on a trial basis (toilet paper, fake Splenda, paper towels and trash bags in two sizes) and plan to bring in everything from “contact lens solution to clothing”.

If you are happy to have Kirkland products in Israel, it wouldn’t hurt to let Osher Ad know- on their Facebook page or in one of their stores.

To read about my previous blog post, click here.


Costco comes to Osher Ad Petach Tikva

Missing Costco?  Then go over to Osher Ad in Petach Tikvah and get pick up some of these Kirkland products.

בן ציון גליס 30 , פתח תקוה  טלפון :  03-6129434

Let us know if you see them in other branches!  Click here for a list of other branches.

**Update from Facebook readers- they have also been spotted in Osher Ad in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh***

hat tip and pictures: Sabrina Greenberg Chalom

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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