Osem's new Bamba production factory in Kiryat Gat (Credit: PR).
(photo credit: PR)
World-famous and beloved Israeli peanut snack Bamba is set to hit the shelves of US retail giant Walmart this month, Osem CEO Avi Ben-Assayag announced Tuesday as he opened the company’s enormous new factory in Kiryat Gat.
“Our dream is to see Bamba in every supermarket in the US and Europe,” said Ben-Assayag.
“Thanks to the factory we are inaugurating today, we will be able to double production capacity and provide for demand in Israel and the increasing demand for Bamba in the US.”
While Osem, today owned by Nestlé, has been marketing its products, including Bamba, to the kosher food market in the US and Europe for decades through Osem USA and Osem UK, the company only started to market Bamba to American retail chains last year.
Due to appear first on Walmart shelves this month, Bamba will also be available in additional retail chains and pharmacies in the coming months.
“When we invented Bamba 55 years ago, we never thought it would become the best-selling snack in Israel or that it would attract such interest abroad as well,” said Osem chairman Dan Propper.
“Over the years, Bamba has constantly developed, with a variety of new shapes and flavors, and the baby that became an Israeli icon is doing very well in Israel and abroad.”
Bamba will be marketed in the US as a healthy eating product, boosted by the US National Institute of Health, which cited the snack as one of several peanut-based foods that can reduce the occurrence of peanut allergy in babies.
The new factory, the company’s third in Kiryat Gat, will initially enable Osem to double its production volume to approximately one million bags of Bamba per day, and later to 1.5 million bags.
The NIS 200 million ($55m.) project spans 16,000 square meters and will employ about 150 workers. A visitors center will open next to the factory later this year.
“The factory was built according to the highest food factory standards in the world, with innovative technologies and automated manufacturing processes,” said Meir Imber, vice president of operations for the Osem Group.
“Minimizing the environmental footprint was a major consideration. The result is that its environmental impact will be less than that of a residential building: A factory with no sewage, where all energy consumption is based on natural gas and zero waste sent to landfills. By 2025, all product packaging will be from recyclable materials.”
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