Israeli Peanut Butter Lovers: Clap Your Hands

For years, Americans living in Israel have asked visitors from their home country to smuggle in peanut butter, citing the inferior taste and consistency of the Israeli versions of the staple food.

But all that may soon change.

Last month, CPC International Inc., a giant food concern whose brands include Skippy peanut butter, as well as Hellman’s mayonnaise and Mazola margarine, bought a 51 percent stake in Israel Edible Products Ltd., also known as Tami.

Gale Griffin, a spokeswoman for CPC, said the New Jersey- based company had not yet decided what to do with its new Israeli operation.

In some of the 53 countries where CPC operates, the firm relies on local recipes, she said, while in others it imports American-made products.

CPC, which boasts $6.2 billion in worldwide annual sales, paid $40 million for its share of the Israeli company.

“We’re always interested in expanding into markets where we think there’s the possibility for growth, and Israel is one of them,” said Griffin.

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