Founded in 1942 as a food marketing company, in 1946, the company built its first factory in Bnei Brak. It originally produced noodles and ptitim, an Israeli invention. In 1964, Osem's snack factory was founded in Holon, and the company's main product was created - the peanut butter-flavoured Bamba. In 1970, the company started producing baked food in addition to introducing the Bissli snacks, which come in several flavours such as falafel, mesquite, BBQ, pizza, and onion. Osem also produces soup powders which once contained high quantities of monosodium glutamate (MSG). The company now markets MSG-free versions of its soup mixes under a green label as opposed to the traditional red one.
The company's main factory was built in 1976 in Petah Tikva, in which the company's administration offices, distribution centre, and the sauce factory are now found.
Osem has acquired several smaller food companies and expanded their product lines, such as Froumine, Argal Bakery Shop, and Magdanot HaBait factory (where the cakes production line is found).
The company holds a number of subsidiaries which make up the Osem Group. The company's subsidiaries include Sabra Salads, Tivall, Of Tov, Nestlé Ice Creams, Beit Hashita, Asamim, Nestlé-Purina, Materna Ltd. (51%), and Foodtec. In 2008, the company bought Tribe Mediterranean Foods Ltd., a Mediterranean food producer and distributor based in the United States. The group produces approximately 2,000 different products, divided into four main categories: room temperature food - snacks and pastries, room temperature food - other, chilled food, and frozen food.
The group operates 10 different production facilities in Israel, and distributes its produce through its distribution centers. In 2007, the group completed the construction of a nationwide distribution and logistics center. In addition, the group exports its produce to Europe and the United States through its overseas subsidiaries: Osem U.K. Ltd. and Osem USA Inc.
1 Currently manufactured by General Mills in the United States. Produced by Cereal Partners under the Nestlé brand elsewhere. 2 Brand owned by General Mills; U.S. and Canadian production rights controlled by Nestlé under license. 3 U.S. production rights owned by The Hershey Company. 4 Canadian production rights owned by The Hershey Company. 5 U.S. rights and production owned by Smarties Candy Company, with a different product. 6 U.S. rights and specific trade dress owned by Nestlé; rights elsewhere owned by Associated British Foods. 7 Produced by Cereal Partners, branded as Nestlè. 8 Produced by Cereal Partners, and Branded Nestlé in The United Kingdom, and Ireland. Produced by Post Foods, elsewhere.