Since its inception in 1942, Osem has worked to enhance and promote the local food industry. In fact, the history of Osem is intertwined with the history of the modern State of Israel. The production lines at the Osem plants were hard at work well before the establishment of the State of Israel. During the difficult period of the austerity regime in the early 1950s, it provided food for hundreds of thousands of citizens in this young nation in the throes of a severe economic crisis. The Osem factories provided decent employment for many thousands of workers at all levels and in all professions.During the War of Independence Osemtrucks participated in the convoys for the relief of the siege of Jerusalem, and one vehicle was hit and burned.
Over the years, many new immigrants from various immigration waves and eras not only found employment in the Osem factories, but also a warm and welcoming home. The company’s development and its establishment of various production factories were an integral part of the development of provincial areas throughout Israel, and also created stable employment opportunities.
In 1942, three manufacturers set up a joint marketing venture, and in 1946 they made a dramatic decision to set up a joint factory for the three partner groups. The historical story is that of the seven founders – Eugen Propper, Dr. Franz Klein, Yaakov Lorsh, Azriel Wihl, Shimshon Wilmersdorf, Moshe Katzman and Eliyahu Harpak. It was they who decided that seven is better than one, and proceeded to set up Osem as a joint enterprise for the marketing of products from a number of factories that they owned, which produced noodles, spaghetti and macaroni. Noodles . . .yes, that is what they used to call pasta. The Seven wonders led the company forward to the forefront of the Israeli and world-wide food industry. The name that was chosen at the time – Osem – was taken from the prayer said by the High Priest on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement); “may this year be a year of plenty (Osem).” With time, the founders saw the fruits of their labors as Osem became widely known as a name synonymous with quality, flavor, health and enjoyment.
1942 The Osem Company is established – Israel’s various noodle factories amalgamate.
1946 Osem’s first factory is established in Bnei Brak, operating until 2002.
1964 A snack factory is established in Holon and Bamba – the famous peanut-butter
flavored snack – is born.
1970 Osem purchases Lachmeinu Tel Aviv, Baking Enterprises Ltd., and enters a completely
new field – baked goods.
1974 The Yokneam factory is established for the manufacture of pasta and baked goods.
1976 Land is purchased in Petach Tikvah for the construction the Osem administration buildings, a factory manufacturing sauces and ketchup etc., and the groups’ main distribution warehouse.
1980 Osem’s distribution center in Petach Tikvah begins operating. Upon its establishment, the distribution warehouse featured state of the art logistics technology.
1981 Osem purchases the Froumine Group companies, including all their factories
in Bnei Brak and Sderot.
1982 Osem purchases the Argal Bakery Shop Ltd. for the production of elongated filled cookies (argaliot), taking over its industrial activities and brand name.
1986 A new soup factory is built on the Osem site in Sderot.
1988 Osem purchases a state-of-the art pasta production line for the Yokneam factory. It also purchases the industrial company Assis Ltd. in Netantya.
1991 Osem begins marketing coffee.
1992 Osem becomes a public company and 25% of its shares are traded
on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
1994 Osem enters a partnership with Magdanot HaBait factory.
The Madrid Peace Conference and the end of the Arab boycott of companies doing business with Israel brought about a chance to add a strategic partner for Osem in the early 90’s. Osem negotiated with several international firms and in the end chose Nestle, the leading food corporation in the World. and deemed Osem the as the company that most suited to join its worldwide network. In 1995 Nestle was granted an option to purchase 10% of Osem’s shares, and over time, Nestle subsequently increased its holdings in Osem to 58.8%.
Nestle originated in Switzerland but became over time a multi-national worldwide holding company. A renowned business-marketing company of mammoth proportions with extensive know-how in its field, Nestle’s self-defined management strategy prescribes the company’s merging with successful food industry companies worldwide. Nestle’s collaboration with Osem led to the signing of a knowledge transfer agreement, entitling the Osem Group to use Nestle’s knowledge in the fields of product research and development, information systems, and food technologies. The two companies proceeded to exchange workers, enabling Osem to benefit from Nestle’s managers’ extensive experience. Consequently, a Nestle representative was appointed chairman of Osem’s Board of Directors.
Nestle’s partnering with the Osem Group not only demonstrated its faith in the company’s management and operation abilities, but served also as a springboard for Osem’s advancement to new horizons, which could previously only be dreamed of.
The partnership with Nestle created new standards of quality and excellence, and brought about Osem’s implementation of modern work methods, which elevated Osem not only to the forefront of Israel’s food industry, but to the upper-echelon of international food manufacturers.
Its alliance with Nestle proved a tremendous breakthrough for the Osem Group. It opened the door to wide-ranging business activity and enriched Osem’s knowledge-base in a variety of relevant topics – including state-of-the-art technologies, economics, management and finances, as well as marketing and advertising. The Osem Group’s new era expresses itself daily in every task, its work methods, its conduct, and in its drive for excellence in business – an inherent value in the ethical code shared by Nestle and the Osem Group.
The relationship of trust between Nestle and Osemwas expressed, among other ways, when Dan Proper retired as CEO of Osemand he was appointed by Nestle as the Group’s Chairman of the Board, with CEO’s following him appointed from within the OsemGroup.
1995 The Osem-Nestle relationship begins: Nestle is granted an option to exercise 10% of the Osem Group’s shares. The Osem Group begins importing Nestle’s quality products. Osem purchases the Mili Company and enters the frozen food industry. Osem purchases 50% of the Tivall Company and merges it with Mili. The Ostive and Prostive distribution systems are merged, and the Osem factory in Sderot begins manufacturing oil.
1996 Nestle realizes the option it was granted and purchases 10% of the Osem Group’s shares.
1997 Osem enters a partnership with Tnuva for the production and marketing of Nestle ice cream known as the Muta brand. Osem purchases control of Sabra Salads.
1998 Nestle increases its holdings in the Osem Group to 47% and signs a know-how transfer agreement with Osem for matters of research and development of products, information systems, and food technologies. Osem purchases 50% of the Beit Hashita factory for the manufacture of pickled goods. Beit Hashita and Asis (owned by the Osem Group) merge in the production of pickled goods, fruit concentrates and jams. Osem begins marketing Friskies products – Nestle’s pet food. Tivall, part of the Osem Group, purchases the Hod Lavan Company and its production site is transferred to the Of Tov factory.
1999 The Osem Group increases its shares in Tivall to 51%. The Osem group’s system of commerce is reorganized, changing the face of sales and distribution so that they are more in line with the principle of customer differentiation. The Osem Group’s distribution systems are merged with those of the Froumine company to create a single distribution system. Ostive’s chilled distribution systems are merged with those of Prostive, creating a single network known as Ostiv. For the first time, the Osem Group’s
sales turnover reaches 2 billion NIS.
2000 Nestle increases its holding in the Osem Group to 50.1%.
2002 Nestle establishes a worldwide snack research and development center at the Osem factory site in Sderot. Osem’s Bnei Brak factory activities are transferred to the Sderot factory site.
2003 Osem purchases full control of the Beit Hashita factory, as well as Tnuva’s share in Nestle Ice Cream. A modern distribution center is established in Ramat Hashofet.
2004 The Osem Investments Group is established as a subsidiary company which consolidates all
of the company’s sales activity.
2005 The Osem Company begins operating in a divisional structure, establishing three divisions: culinary, pastries and beverages, and snacks and cereals.
2006 The Sabra factory transfers to its new location in Kiryat Gat. The Ugot Habayit cake factory in Karmiel relocates to the Yokneam factory.
2007 Plans are laid for the new logistics center and office building at the new Shoham site
in Chevel Modi’in, and the construction begins.
The Osem Group launches its vision: initiative, excellence, integrity, cooperation and the Israeli spirit.
The Osem Group purchases Bonjour. The Petach Tikvah factory closes down and its production lines are transferred to the Sderot and Beit Hashita factories.
Tivall establishes a new factory in Teplice, Czechoslovakia.
2008 The Osem Group establishes Kiryat Osem in Shoham, featuring the largest and most sophisticated logistics center in the Middle East, as well as the group headquarters. The Osem Group adapts to the changes in the markets, and establishes two new divisions: the ready-made food division, and the Nestle Professional division, which caters to the professional market. The Osem Group implements Nestle’s Globe project. The Osem Group purchases the Tribe Mediterranean Foods Company, a leading US fresh-salad manufacturer. The Osem Group purchases the US FoodTech Company for the production of meat alternatives. Osem establishes a factory for sauces on the Sderot factory site.
2009 The Globe project is launched. The Osem Group purchases the Yarden Company in England.
2010 The Osem Group purchases 51% of the Materna Company and enters the field of baby food.