Osem (company)

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Osem Investments Ltd.
Subsidiary
Industry Food processing
Founded 1942; 75 years ago (1942)
Headquarters Shoham, Israel
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Aviezer Kaplan, Itsik Tsaig (CEO)
Products Coffee, Pasta, Breakfast cereals, Confectionery
Revenue Increase NIS 3,807.2 million (2010)[1]
NIS 480.5 million (2010)
NIS 316.48 million (2010)
Total assets NIS 3,551.8 million (2010)
Number of employees
4707
Parent Nestlé
Website www.osem.co.il

Osem Investments Ltd. (Hebrew: אסם‎) is one of the largest food manufacturers and distributors in Israel.[2] The group is owned (100%) by Nestlé S.A. of Switzerland.

The company used to be listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the TA-25 Index.

History[edit]

In 1942, Eugen Propper and his partner merged Hadagan with two other factories - Assisit and Itrit - to create Osem. The name is taken from an ancient Jewish prayer.[3]

Pasta produced by Osem

In 1946, the company built its first factory in Bnei Brak, producing noodles. Seven years later, in 1953, upon a request by Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, the company added its staple "rice-substitute" product ptitim. 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 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).

Other products manufactured by Osem are Cheerios breakfast cereal and hummus.[4]

In 1995, Osem began to market Nestlé's products such as coffee, chocolate, and breakfast cereals.That year, Nestlé acquired 10% of Osem's shares, followed by an additional 41% in 1997.

All Osem products produced in Israel are produced under the kosher supervision of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and many are certified by the Edah HaChareidis.

Production facilities and subsidiaries[edit]

Osem factory, Modi'in

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.

Litigation[edit]

In August 2015, Israel's Health Ministry ruled that Heinz Tomato Ketchup does not contain enough tomato solids to qualify as ketchup and must be referred to as "tomato seasoning.[5] Osem, a rival ketchup manufacturer, had Heinz' product tested and found that it only contained 21% tomato concentrate; regulations in Israel require that it contain at least 41%.[6] Osem successfully petitioned the government to force Heinz to change the Hebrew labelling on their ketchup. The ruling does not affect the English language labelling.[7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]