Daily Israel Report

New Factory Announced as Ice Cream Season Begins

Israel’s "ice cream season,” escorted by dry and hot weather, has begun. Osem-Nestlé’s says it will build a new plant in a Negev development
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 5/16/2011, 4:54 PM / Last Update: 5/16/2011, 9:09 PM

Israel’s "ice cream season,” escorted by dry and hot weather, has opened up with an announcement by Osem-Nestlé’s that it will build a new 150 million shekel ($42 million) plant in an unspecified Negev "development town."

Building a factory in a southern development town will entitle the company to an Investment Promotions Center grant. Nestlé’s has majority stake in Osem, which produces 16 million liters (4.2 million gallons) of ice cream at its Be'er Tuvia plant, located next to Kiryat Malachi and east of the port of Ashdod.

Osem-Nestlé’s general manager Ze’ev Kalim told Globes that the company needs to expand its capacity, but cannot find any land to build on in Be'er Tuvia. It therefore plans to build a larger facility in the Negev. It is the largest ice cream seller in Israel, where consumers lap up 60 million liters (15.8 million gallons) a year, or 8-9 liters a person

The market value of ice cream sales is 1.5 billion shekels ($425 million) and grew by 15 percent last year. Vanilla is the favorite flavor among Israelis.

Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Simchon visited the Be'er Tuvia plant this week and surveyed the ice cream, but settled for a popsicle after learning how many calories are in each scoop.