Strauss-Unilever Israel is investing US$1m to promote its new ice cream lines. According to Strauss' estimate regarding ice cream market share, it holds 47%, Nestlé has 33%, Reo 3%, Feldman 3%, while Unilever subsidiary Ben & Jerry's and Häagen Dazs each have 1%. In a press conference yesterday, Samuel Goldberger, general manager of Strauss Ice Cream Division, said that the new concept of placing ice cream stands in major shopping malls and in several leading supermarkets "was developed by Unilever International and proven successful worldwide."

The Strauss strategy attempts to challenge the decline in ice cream impulsive purchases, in view of the 20% increased purchases of ice cream packages for home consumption. In this respect, Strauss-Unilever introduces the personal preference option for luring customers in shopping malls "to have the kind of ice cream they want, and supply it on the spot." Strauss believes the presence of the modern ice cream stands in major malls and supermarket chains, "offering a wide range of tastes hitherto not available in Israel," among them the American soft ice cream, will strengthen its position on the market. He noted that Strauss' ice creams are produced using Unilever's technologies and experience. Trade sources in Tel Aviv noted that other producers, notably Nestlé, which realise the huge potential of the ice cream market in Israel, "have not said their last words in the Battle of the Cones."

By Aaron Priel, just-food. com correspondent