August 10, 2009

Osem Continues Expansion in Worldwide Kosher Sales

Tel Aviv…by Idele Ross, KosherToday Middle East Bureau Chief…Osem continues its worldwide expansion with special emphasis on the kosher market. Israel’s largest manufacturer of instant soups and prepared salads has announced a deal to acquire Yarden G.B. Ltd, a British distributor of kosher food products for the sum of $3.2 million plus an additional amount for the company’s inventory. Yarden markets kosher food products to supermarkets and stores who specialize in kosher foods in Britain and also has exclusive rights to distribute Osem’s Sabra prepared salads. Osem international will oversee the new subsidiary headed by Gad Propper and Osem UK CEO Giora Tzuker. Osem said in a statement that the acquisition of the company will enable the Osem group to expand its presence in the UK markets especially for its Sabra ready made salad line. The company is also looking to become a leader in the kosher market in Britain. Yarden G.B. had sales of 7 million pounds in 2008 and its clients include the Tesco and Sainsbury supermarket chains.

Bloomberg reports that Osem which is controlled by Nestle SA, the world’s largest food company is looking to boost its sales abroad by acquiring companies overseas. In the last year, it bought Tribe Mediterranean Foods, a US maker of humus and prepared salads and FoodTech International, an American company that produces meat substitutes.

Kosher food sources say that kosher foods in Europe have been growing at a rate of 8%-10% a year, which is significant for the world’s third largest kosher market. Israel’s kosher market is valued at approximately $15 billion while the US is at $12 billion. The European kosher market is believed to be about 10% of that amount. The sources say that there has been considerable growth in Russia and the Ukraine, which are now routinely factored into the overall kosher market in Europe.