Nestle VP: Israeli developed snacks will be sold worldwide

Osem's Sderot development center could become Nestle's development center for infant food products.

"Snack foods developed and first produced at the Osem development center in Sderot will be included in Nestle's products worldwide," Nestle executive VP and CTO Werner Bauer told "Globes" yesterday. Nestle (SWX:NESN) is the controlling shareholder in Osem Investments Ltd. (TASE: OSEM).

Nestle has 23 development centers worldwide. The center at Sderot, a part of the Osem food factory, specializes in the development of snacks. The center's products include the Bamba Peanut Nougat and Thin Bisli.

Bauer said, "There are snacks that have gone from Israel to other countries, including in Europe and Indonesia."

Commenting on Osem's acquisition of infant formula manufacturer Materna Ltd. Bauer said, "Many surprises are likely in the infant formula market following the acquisition of Materna. We want to have a substantial presence in infant formula in every country, offering a broad range of products that will include snacks for infants."

Bauer noted that the Sderot development center would probably become Nestle's development center for infant food products. He said another advantage of the Sderot facility was its proximity to Osem's factory, enabling the facility to function as an international training center. He added that Nestle has also been investing in health food and in energy-saving methods.

As for market competition, Bauer said that Groupe Danone (NYSE: DA; XETRA; Paris: DANO) was not increasing its sales. He opposes reducing production of less healthy products, such as chocolate and ice cream. "What's wrong with chocolate? Good chocolate contains cocoa, antioxidants, and excellent ingredients; just don’t eat too much of it. What's wrong with ice cream? I have six children and I feel wonderful when they eat ice cream, because I know that they're getting good ingredients. There's no good or bad. There's proper eating and over-eating," he said.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on June 23, 2008

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2008

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