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Spotlight On… Israel’s Food Industry

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Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Israel was once known exclusively for its fresh citrus produce and processed citrus products, but is now renowned for its vibrant, fast-growing food and beverage industry. European, Middle Eastern and North African cuisines blend to create a diverse array of original Mediterranean-style foods, most of which are kosher certified. Israel’s dynamic food and beverage industry produces gourmet foods, high quality ingredients, and a rich ethnic cuisine. In addition to Israel’s signature produce, the country has also earned a reputation for producing innovative, nutritious and delicious processed foods as well as a celebrated collection of fine gourmet wine.

Health awareness, at the top of Israel’s consumer agenda, has driven the development of the country’s meatless, sugar free, organic and other specialty foods.

The Israeli food sector is characterized by strong competition, the use of advanced working methods, strengthening marketing networks, and effective multinational partnerships. Above all, Israel’s food industry is known for its desire and ability to provide Israeli and international consumers with a broad and diverse range of quality products.

Placing a heavy emphasis on research and development, many Israeli food companies have developed innovative products that are exported worldwide. The flexibility and willingness of Israeli companies to meet buyers’ specifications make Israel an excellent source for private label goods. In particular, there are several specific markets that we believe food products from Israel are able to fill. They are:

Mediterranean Style Food

With Australia’s expanding food palate and increasing taste for exotic and different foods, Israeli food is well suited to meet the tastes of Australian consumers by offering food where European, Middle Eastern and North African cuisines blend together, resulting in a wide array of original Mediterranean- style foods.

Health Food

Health awareness, increasingly important to Western consumers, has driven the country’s rich variety of meatless and sugar-, lactose- and gluten-free products. Aided by Israel’s strong R&D tradition, many Israeli health food manufacturers have developed innovative products that are sold worldwide

Lactose Free: Due to the kosher dietary laws observed by many Jews, meat and milk is not to be eaten together. Therefore many products from Israel specifically contain nether meat traces nor milk traces, resulting in them being lactose free. With more Australians becoming sensitive to Lactose products, Israel’s lactose free foods could prove very successful in the Australian market.

Gluten Free: During the festival of Passover, Jews are restricted from eating food that contains yeast and gluten, and large amounts  of everyday grocery items are produced without yeast and gluten in order to meet the demand for the festival. However, these Kosher for Passover food products also meet the requirements for Gluten-free food, and therefore also might be suited to Australia’s gluten-free consumers. Israel has a long and well established gluten free manufacturing process that is governed by strict dietary laws and produced under heavy supervision, thus ensuring extremely high standards of gluten-free products.

Organic Food

Organic food, principally organic produce, accounts for some ten percent of Israel’s fresh food exports. It is the fastest growing sector, growing annually by 25 percent, and is found in some of the best and biggest food stores in the world. Many large Israeli manufacturers offer organic products that include spices, sweet condiments and prepared foods.

Kosher Products

The global growth in kosher food consumption by Jews, Muslims, Hindus, vegetarian and health consumers has increased demand and preference for Israel’s kosher food products. Its consumers wish to better manage their health and nutrition and tend to believe that “kosher” is healthy. In the United States alone, more than 100,000 products bear a kosher seal, while 11 million people regularly consume kosher food (less then 3 million of them are Jewish). The kosher seal on a food package promises higher than average quality and a higher level of production supervision than is accepted in the conventional food market. After the U.S., Israel is the world’s second largest producer of kosher food.

Most companies in the attached presentations would be happy to explore the possibility of Private Labeling.

Please click here to see some of the Food Products that are coming out of Israel (Most of those products are available under Private-Label as well).

Please click here to see a short presentation about the Israeli Food Industry.