Tnuva – Israel’s largest food manufacturer

Tnuva was established in 1926, when the moshavim and kibbutzim decided to coordinate and unify all stages of processing, producing and distributing fresh agricultural produce.

At first, Tnuva distributed only fresh milk for drinking and later on also dairy products . In the early 1930s, as it became more established, Tnuva began marketing additional fresh farm produce: eggs, poultry, vegetables and fruits.

Tnuva developed parallel to the development of the Jewish community in the country, and following the establishment of the State of Israel played an important role in the growth of Israel’s economy.

Hundreds of refrigerated trucks transporting fresh produce, bearing the Tnuva logo, made sure that every city, town and village across the country were reached every day, throughout the year. Over the years, Tnuva became an inseparable part of the day-to-day life of every child, family and household in Israel. In the ’50s and ’60s the concept of “Tnuva children” became popularized as an expression symbolizing healthy children enjoying sound, natural and tasty nourishment.

For a detailed historical survey, visit the Tnuva Museum website. (Hebrew)

Tnuva’s marketing and innovation revolution

In 1996, a new management was nominated at Tnuva, which set itself the goal of refreshing Tnuva’s look and turning it into a business focused on the consumer and capable of participating in the marketplace under modern market conditions.

A new management headed by CEO Arik Reichman introduced during the 1990's a series of revolutionary reforms, among them: a marketing and branding reform, a quality and innovation reform, and a consumer service reform.The marketing section was positioned as the spearhead of Tnuva’s business activities, targeting, identifying and developing consumer needs, and operating the various Tnuva units to answer those needs.

The branding of Tnuva was placed at the forefront of the marketing activity, with clear and distinctive values, coupled with a realistic consumer promise. Tnuva, with all its divisions and with the Dairy Group in particular, has built and enhanced an integrative marketing section which includes a consumer arm enabling it to investigate, analyze and understand the consumer and the market, and a research and development arm aimed at realizing the dreams.

The marketing section plans and designs Tnuva’s branding strategy, and builds its marketing and planning strategy, advertising and sales promotions. Tnuva’s logistic section enables quick daily access to every one of thousands of points of sale spread throughout the country.

Tnuva has launched dozens of brands and hundreds of new products, has created new standards of quality and innovation and has enthralled thousands of Israeli households through the advertising language that accompanied the brands’ launching. The “Tnuva” brand has become a hallmark and guarantee for quality which has earned the trust of the general public, which chooses Tnuva year after year as the number 1 food brand in Israel.

The revolution in quality and innovation was expressed by establishing a quality assurance unit, a strict supervisory system utilizing advanced production and quality assurance technologies enabling mass production in short time spans while ensuring the quality and uniformity of the product.

As an inseparable and extremely important part of this section, Tnuva has established the “dairy line”, a consumer telephone service center. The center allows consumers to maintain direct contact with Tnuva, offer suggestions, voice their complaints and provide comments, all of which receive attention and a speedy response. Today, Tnuva is a modern and dynamic organization, operating according to a clear strategic vision and set objectives, an organization with a powerful backbone.

Acquisition of Tnuva by Apax and Mivtach Shamir

In March 2007 a Tnuva conference was held when a decisive majority of votes approved the process of selling Tnuva to private investors. On January 7, 2008, the sale was finalized and is considered one of the most complex deals in the history of the Israel economy.

The distribution of holdings (indirectly) in Tnuva following the sale is: Apax Private Equity Foundation (56%), Mivtach Shamir (a company listed on the TASE - 20.7%) and the Kibbutzim Holdings Entity (23.3%), composed of the kibbutzim’s regional economic corporative societies (20.3%) and others. Zahavit Cohen, the CEO of Apax Israel, stated that as a result of completing the deal: “We have acquired one of the country’s most powerful businesses ”. Meir Shamir was appointed Chairman of Tnuva following the completion of the acquisition, and after several months Zahavit Cohen replaced him as the Group’s Chairperson.

Several months following the completion of the deal Arik Reichman left Tnuva, after having led Tnuva through the stormy years to its status as the country’s leading food group.

With Reichman’s departure, Liad Cohen was appointed as CEO. Liad Cohen began his work at Tnuva in 1995 as an economist and served in a range of management roles in the group, among them VP Sales and Distribution in the Dairy Group, and CEO of the Dairy Group from 2001 to 2007. Liad Cohen acted as Tnuva CEO up to July 2009. On July, 2009 Arik Schor was appointed as Tnuva's CEO.

Growing up in an Israeli home

In 2010, Tnuva launched a new branding under the slogan “Tnuva, Growing up in an Israeli home”, focusing on the icon of a home. Consumer surveys indicated that Tnuva is perceived as a leading company whose products are an integral part of the product portfolio in the Israeli consumers' home. In addition, it was also found that the icon of the home is perceived by the consumers as one of the most powerful and leading icons in Israel and is strongly identified with Tnuva.

Apparently, there is an emotional motif linking Tnuva’s history to Israeliness, the Israeli home. Tnuva launched a tactic of strengthening its leadership while formulating a strategy based on the value of “growing up in an Israeli home”.

As part of this move, three of the Dairy Group’s core products (milk, cheese, cottage cheese) were linked as the “home brand” and the products were branded in a new and uniform design language.

Quality Policy

Tnuva is committed to a policy of high and uncompromising quality. Accordingly, the activity of Tnuva’s dairies is accompanied by the testing services of chemistry and microbiology laboratories located in each of the dairy sites.

The laboratories accompany all the activity carried out in the dairy, beginning with the stage of receiving raw material (including receiving milk from cowsheds that market milk to Tnuva), through the entire production and filling process up to the packaged product at the end of the shelf life.
The tests carried out in the laboratories are based on Israeli standards, appropriate international standards, or on test kits approved by designated bodies such as the AOAC.

It should be noted that the laboratory in the Rehovot dairy was licensed in November 2009 for the ISO 17025 standard and is the second food plant laboratory in Israel to be licensed for this standard.

For the list of test methods and standards on which the main tests are carried out in Rehovot, click here.

The social protest – the cottage protest

In June 2011 a consumer protest against the cost of living in Israel began. Tnuva's cottage cheese was positioned at the forefront of the struggle. The strong link of Tnuva's cottage cheese with values of home, family and Israeliness, together with its daily presence over the years in most of the homes in the country – caused the protest leaders to select it as the protest’s icon. In addition, Tnuva cottage cheese was perceived as the “most typical Israeli” product and consumers relate to it as “our” cottage cheese.

The course of action of renewed branding beginning in 2010 simply enhanced the emotional association that the consumers felt towards it, and so Tnuva cottage cheese turned into the protest symbol and catalyst in the struggle to reduce consumer product prices in Israel. Like the cottage cheese, “Tnuva” and the group itself, are strongly linked with the world of content of the home, family and Israeliness. This was an additional reason to place Tnuva, as the dairy market leader, at the center of the consumer protest.

Following the crisis and the public debate over the rising prices of food products, Tnuva led a demand to hold a true discussion in the government on the subject of the “value chain”, which is the supply chain (cowsheds, dairies, retailers) on the way from milk production up to its marketing on the shelf

Tnuva was the first in the economy to lower prices as a result of the protest. Following the announcement of a sweeping boycott of all its products, in October 2011 Tnuva took a unilateral and first-time step in the country, and reduced the prices of 50 of its various dairy products by 15%. The value of lowering prices to the consumers was about 125 million shekels, of which 62% was financed by Tnuva.

Tnuva’s Chairperson, Zahavit Cohen, resigned from her position, and for the first time, and as an act of transparency towards the consumer public, Tnuva’s financial reports were published, although it is a private entity not traded on the stock exchange.

Facing the future

In March 2015, a deal to transfer control of Tnuva Group from the Apax Fund and Mivtach Shamir Company to Bright Food Group was concluded.

Bright Food has a publically traded subsidiary named Bright Dairy, which will be the actual indirect controlling owner of Tnuva.

Bright Dairy specializes in developing and manufacturing a variety of dairy products and is a leader in the market for luxury dairy products produced in China.

Bright Food Group

Bright Food Group is an international food and beverages company, based in Shanghai. The Group is the second largest food group in China and holds the complete food chain – from agriculture, through food production and up to retail businesses. Bright Food owns several companies in various fields around the world, and is focused upon growth and significant investments in research, development and technology.

The vision of Bright Food Group (including the Bright Dairy Company) is to become a leading food conglomerate with international brands that will be the next big thing in the global food market.

The Bright Food Group is committed to the continued success of Tnuva in the Israeli food market and to loyally serving the Israeli consumer. The strength of Bright Food, which derives from its being an international conglomerate, will enable Tnuva to grow via its introduction into new global markets. The synergy between the two companies will enable important cooperation in the fields of innovation, research and development.

Tnuva – the best in the world – each morning anew.