In August 2012, came into force the Regulations on Consumers Protection, requiring businesses selling food under price controlto put up signs next to the shelves with products that are under price control, with a list of regulated food products as well as their prices. The regulations require all businesses selling food to put on a sign next to shelves with dairy products, bread, salt and eggs under supervision, with details of products and prices.
Consumer Council's inspectors found that many businesses violate the explicit regulations. A recent survey conducted by the Israel Consumer Council, has found that dozens of supermarkets and mini-markets around the country do not put up signs at all, or put up signs in an inadequate and unclear way. The sign is often presented far from the product under price control, and close to alternative products that are not under price control.
The data refer to 53 retail outlets (large supermarkets) and to 40 mini-markets and convenience stores. The sector of minimarkets and convenience stores hardly cares to comply with the regulation. In about 90% of the minimarkets, the signs found were inadequate. In those stores, we have also found failure to comply with price marking on the products.
In 36 branches, no sign at all has been found. In 2 branches, there was a sign, but not clear nor conspicuous. Proper signs were found in only in two branches. The signposting was problematic in the food chains as well: 33% of the branches were found as inadequate.
The survey conducted by the Consumer Council shows that 73% of the public have encounter no sign regarding prices under price control in the store. And what does the public know about products under supervision? Can he identify them? It turns out that public awareness regarding these products is very low. 50% to 75% of the consumers do not know that these products are under price control.
It may be assumed that a uniform and clearly visible signposting would lead to greater awareness among the consumers. Increased enforcement effort is required from the government regarding signposting, increasing conspicuousness for enhancement of the visibility, while creating a unified brand and improving the wording in order to increase comprehensibility.
Consumer Council CEO, Adv. Ehud Peleg: "The ability to identify and to favor products that are under price control, allows consumers to reduce their shopping basket and to cope with the cost of living through a convenient and available tool – a sign next to the shelf. The Consumer Council has suggested to the Fair Trade Authority to adopt some regulations that would make the wording of the signs more effective, and calls it out to increase enforcement efforts in the points of sale, so that the intention of the legislator is expressed in a way that makes it easier for consumers to identify the products under price control."