Israeli consumers buck big-food trend,
return to smaller stores, specialty shops

April 20, 2004, as reported by In a reversal of a trend that has become nearly epidemic in the United States, consumers in Israel are turning away from the large supermarket chains and are instead bringing their food dollar to neighborhood grocery stores, according to the Food Industries Association, part of the Manufacturers Association of Israel.

In the last 12 months, Israel's two largest chains, Super-Sol and Blue Square, lost 3% of their aggregate market share to 49%, an about face of the trend developed over the past few years.

While the big chains lost ground, the smaller ones, especially specialty food chains, gained ground: the steepest climb in the last year was by Russian food chains and grocery stores, which sold 6.7% of all local food products in 2003 compared to 3.5% a year before.