Multinationals in Israel – not just high tech

Israel has a very successful history of encouraging multinationals to set up r&d centres in the Holy Land. Where Intel led, Siemens, Cisco, Motorola and many others have followed. In the past few days, John Donahue, the CEO of eBay, made his first visit to Israel.

However, it is not just the “new industries” that are interested in Israeli brawn. GM has a very sophisticated operations, open since 2007. Boots, the UK chemist retail giant, regularly sends over teams to Tel Aviv to scout for new ideas. Nestle, Colgate, IKEA are all prominent.

Pepsi arrived in Israel in 1992. One of its first major advertising campaigns upset a significant part of the population and it has been playing catch up with Coca Cola ever since. That said, Pepsi has successfully looked beyond its natural market. For a country of nearly 8 million people, Israel has provided and continues to provide Pepsi with whole new revenue sources.

The main base for this strength has been a series of joint ventures with Strauss, which was founded in the 1930s by refugees from Nazi Germany. The Strauss partnership with Pepsi has expanded rapidly in recent years. For example, Strauss’s hummus and other spreads are being manufactured in Mexico under the Obela label. And of course, Strauss is offering its know how to Pepsi’s extensive lines in crips and popcorns and other tasties.

Strauss has an extensive variety of other international partners. This includes Richard Branson through Virgin and marketing pure water machines to households in the UK.

Tom Greco is president of Frito-Lay North America, where he leads PepsiCo’s $13 billion snack and convenient foods business. His visit to Israel this week only emphasises the importance of the capabilities of Strauss. The cooperation over the Sabra label for dips and spreads was worth US$260m in 2011 alone. Next on the list? Greco is very explicit; he too is interested in water purification.

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One Comment on “Multinationals in Israel – not just high tech”

  1. David Dupe Says:

    Great blog but maybe you should get up and stand up

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