Osem pasta
Osem pastaHadas Parush/Flash 90

As of Monday evening, more than 21,000 people have shared a post from the Facebook page of the Israeli TV program “Hazinor”, which calls for a boycott of pasta made by Israeli manufacturer Osem due to the high price difference between their pastas and pastas made by competing brands.

The initiative by Guy Lerer, who hosts the show which airs on Channel 13, began after an announcement that Osem is expected to raise the prices of a variety of products, along with the fact that many company products are already sold at a higher price than the products of competitors.

"Maybe we should stop being indifferent? Maybe we should show them that this time it will not work?" the post read. "Want to lower the cost of living? Want to show the big companies that they cannot celebrate at our expense all the time, without it bringing with it a reaction? Would you be willing to stop buying a different product every time its price goes up indiscriminately? Do you want us to be like the haredim, who band together and no one messes with them? Want it to start here and now? So let's start here and now."

Alongside the text, the post showed a picture comparing pasta made by Osem, which sells for 5.90 shekels, to competing pastas from two other companies that sell for 2.50 shekels. The price of Osem pasta after Tuesday’s scheduled increase will stand at 6.90 shekels.

"Stop buying Osem pasta. Simple as that. Buy the cheaper pastas. Pasta made by Ta’aman is available for less than three shekels and it is excellent. We checked it ourselves and of course we have nothing to do with them," the post read.

"And why Osem? Because Osem boasted of the fact that Israel is one of the most profitable countries in the world," Lerer explained. "Because Osem claims it is raising prices because inputs are going up, but when the inputs went down, it did not lower the prices. Because Osem's most basic products sell for more than twice their true value and it makes a fortune at the expense of our wallets. So we'll start with Osem."

"So let's start by boycotting Osem pasta. We will move from product to product, and if necessary from manufacturer to manufacturer, until they understand that price increases also come with a price. We have a plan ready in case they continue, a plan that will hurt them much more," concluded Lerer.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu) also commented on the rising food prices and to the protests by consumers in an interview on Radio 103FM.

"I unequivocally call on the consumers - boycott those who take advantage of this situation in order to increase prices," he said. "The marketing chains and food companies have made a big celebration here over the last two years on the backs of the citizens of Israel, who bought a lot of products during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Forer.