CO-BRANDING HAS become one of the successful ways of marrying two separate products to become a better hybrid than each is on its own. Strauss Ice Cream has married Cremisimo, its popular creamy ice cream, with Danona, its low-fat yogurt to create a new product called Cremisimo-Danona Bio Ice Cream Yogurt. The new product which contains only 1.5 percent fat is in response to increased health consciousness on the part of consumers of dairy products. Strauss identified this trend more than three years ago, and began introducing new products, accordingly, says Ronen Zohar, the company's marketing vice president. Cremisimo-Danona, which is part of that strategy, challenged the company's uncompromising policy on taste. The new product, sold in a four-pack of cup-sized containers, retains the rich taste of the ice cream but has far fewer calories and contains the health giving properties of the yogurt. GAON AGRO Industries, a subsidiary of Gaon Holdings of which Benny Gaon is the president and chairman, has announced the appointment of Oded Sagee as manager for business development and chief scientist for the company. Sagee, 53, is the owner and CEO of StarBioTech Ltd., which specializes in turnkey agro projects. Sagee was previously vice president business development at Phytech, and before that spent several years as chief of citrus at the Volcani Institute, Israel's agricultural research center. ALTHOUGH ITS negotiations to acquire the Irit fashion chain fell through in the final analysis, Fox, one of Israel's fastest growing clothing companies, has not given up on its plans to expand and is currently exploring the possibility of setting up operations in Russia in partnership with Memorand Management, headed by Lev Leviev. Memorand has a 10% stake in Fox. If the Russian deal proves successful, Fox will open a chain of stores under its own brand name. THE NEW corporate vice president of Microsoft's US-headquartered TV division is Enrique Rodriguez, who has replaced Moshe Lichtman, who decided for family reasons, to return to Israel. Lichtman will remain in the employ of Microsoft, though it has not yet been decided exactly what his new position will be. Rodriguez was previously with Microsoft's Xbox division CONTINENTAL AIRLINES general manager Avi Friedman decided that he wanted an A-1 Israeli menu for in-flight passengers traveling between Israel and the US, so he got together some of the country's most creative cuisine mavens, namely Mika Sharon, Haim Cohen and Eran Schwartzbard, who pooled their respective talents to turn out meals that are sufficiently mouth watering to meet with the approval of the airline's top brass. THE TIVALL food company, which is part of the Osem Group, which in turn is partially owned by Swiss food giant Nestle, is reportedly making a bid for the UK-based Linda McCartney range of frozen vegetarian dinners. Highly popular in Britain, the meals under the Linda McCartney label were launched in 1991 by the first wife of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney. Both staunch vegetarians, they realized that there were a lot of other people who would love to be able to purchase a nourishing meat-free meal that they could store in the freezer and pop into the microwave when they were hungry. Indeed, the venture became a multi-million pound sterling enterprise. However, Linda McCartney's dietary regimen did not protect her from breast cancer from which she died in 1998. The Linda McCartney brand is produced by Heinz, which seven months ago decided to sell all its frozen lines and is still exploring its options. TNUVA DAIRIES has announced two new appointments. Shira Baum, 33, has been appointed manager of the milk business division, encompassing milk and soy-based beverages. Until recently, Baum was brand name manager for the Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank. Before that, she held management and marketing positions with Pelephone. In her new position, she will be responsible for promoting products under the SHOCK brand. A Hebrew University alumnus, Baum has a BA in economics and communications. Michael Rabinovitch, 33, has been appointed head of the business branch of Tnuva hard and salted cheeses. For the past three years, Rabinovitch served as business marketing manager at Cellcom. Before that he was head of business planning and strategy at Mirs Communications. A Tel Aviv University graduate, Rabinovich holds an MBA, and a BA in economics and business administration. BANK HAPOALIM'S chief shareholder Shari Arison and chairman Shlomo Nehama are not only big earners, but also big spenders. They like to involve the bank in charitable projects that are both educational and morale-boosting. Over the Pessah holidays, Bank Hapoalim underwrote the entry fees to 37 museums and tourist sites, that were subsequently visited free of charge by some 1.2 million people. Now, for Israel Independence Day, Bank Hapoalim is shelling out in the vicinity NIS 10 million for national flags in 1.5 million Israeli households. As was done last year, the flags will be included in several weekend publications. The philosophy, according to a Bank Hapoalim spokesperson, is to give everyone a chance to be part of the bigger picture on Israel Independence Day.