Add some sugar to the image of Israel, where candy is king — and queen — in its industrial base.
Maybe you enjoy whimsical candies like candy canes, jellybeans and gummies. Maybe you revel in the nostalgic feeling evoked by eating halva. Maybe you enjoy chocolate with popping candy inside. Whatever your tastes, Israeli candies have something to offer every sweet tooth.
Achva’s sesame seed halva has come a long way since the company started in 1929 in Tel Aviv. Combining Polish, Turkish, Russian and Greek influences to make the best sesame products available, Achva produces a wide range of offerings, including Vanilla, Marble, Pistachio, Curly, Spread and Sandwich Halva. Achva now produces Organic Halva and Sugarless Halva in vanilla and fibers and nuts flavors.
For more than 40 years, Aleh’s factory in Petah Tikvah has been producing fine candies and chocolates. With the advent of new technology, Aleh’s manufacturing process has become automated and involves little to no hands-on contact. Among its products are Gazoz Candy Canes (plastic tubes filled with small, colorful candies), Moon Stones (chocolate rocks) and Blessing Sticks (large tubes filled with small, colorful candies).
Maya Foods Industries
Candy might seem an unlikely product for Maya Foods, which started out selling baking powder and spices three decades ago under the name Mia Spice of Life Jerusalem Ltd. The company, based in the Givat Shaul neighborhood of Jerusalem, has since expanded and, in 2010, changed its name to reflect its offering of more than 300 products, among them beans, rice, cereal products, baking products, spices, nuts, dried fruits, snacks and candy. Jellybeans come in Apple & Cherry, Cola & Lemon, Orange & Lemon, and Carnival (Mixed) Fruit flavors.
Israel’s second-largest food and beverage producer, Strauss Group, owns several different companies, including Elite. Eliyahu Fromenchenko, a Russian Jew living in Latvia, had a candy factory in 1933, which he sold due to the rise of anti-Semitism and moved to Israel. He then partnered with seven other people to create “Elite.” In 1938, Elite produced chocolate for the British army and other allied forces in Palestine, according to the Strauss website. Strauss merged with Elite in 1996. These days, Elite sells $93 million worth of candy annually, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek article.
Founded in 1973, Carmit produces a wide range of confections including Chocolate Coins, Marshmallows, 100 percent Dairy-Free Chocolate, Gluten-Free Wafers and more. The whimsical marshmallows come in a variety of shapes and flavors, including: Spaghetti, Twister, Coconut, Fruit-Shaped and Spring.
Hashachar Ha’ole’s Chocolate Spread has been a staple as a sandwich in Israeli children’s lunchboxes for decades. According to the company’s website, five Wideberg brothers started a small candy factory in 1948, and were joined by the Levkowich family two years later. Seeing a need for a new product in the Israeli market, Hashachar Ha’ole focused its production on chocolate spreads in 1955. The spreads come in a variety of flavors, including Milk, Dark and White chocolate.
This article appeared originally in "Buy Israel Week," a special section.