Will Bamba, the famous, all-times favorite Israeli peanut snack reduce American peanut allergies? The Osem company’s snack will soon be on its way widespread distribution in the US, in a a deal brokered by the international food giant Nestlé.
Bamba is planned to be adopted by Nestlé's baby snacks section, and a new commercial aired recently already shows the Bamba icon — a red headed baby — walking the streets of New York City.
Osem started selling Bamba independently in the US a year ago, under an agreement with the Costco and Trader Joe’s supermarket chains. Before that, the snack was sold sporadically, mostly within the US ultra-Orthodox community.
Working with the powerful Nestlé company, Bamba could be on its way to becoming a huge hit. In the European market, Nestlé has already taken over the marketing and distribution of another Israeli product —Tivall, a vegetarian schnitzel and burger brand. With the giant corporate on its side, Tivall quickly became the second best selling meat substitute in the continent.
More peanuts, less allergiesThe American market is fond of savory snacks, making Bamba a strong candidate to get the public’s attention. It already made headlines when US health authorities recommended exposing babies and children to foods that contain peanuts in order to prevent them from developing peanut allergies. Bamba is an ideal candidate since it doesn’t contain actual peanut pieces and dissolves in the mouth, making it baby-friendly.
In fact, research showed that Israeli children are far less likely to develop peanut allergies thanks to the popularity of Bamba, in comparison to American children. The discovery made headlines in the American media.
New factory, new beginningThe venture in this new market by Osem is no coincidence. The company recently set up a new factory in the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Gat, costing NIS 200 million and allowing Osem to produce double what it could produce in its older factory. It was especially designed to fit the growing international demand.
Nestlé is the largest food company in the world. Some 25 percent of food sales in the US are of Nestlé products. Osem’s long-term revenues are expected to increase by hundreds of millions of shekels, after Nestle starts distributing Bamba in approximately a year's time.