If you’ve ever visited Israel, you would have undoubtedly come across the blue-and-white packet of the country’s favorite snack: Bamba (Hebrew:במבה).
Bamba is the number one selling snack food in Israel, with 90% of Israeli families purchasing Bamba on a daily basis.
It is a peanut butter-flavored corn puff that was created by Osem, Israel’s leading food manufacturer. Bamba was first produced in 1964 as a cheese-flavored snack, which received little attention. In 1966, Osem decided to change the recipe into a peanut butter snack and rendered the winning flavor that ultimately turned Bamba into an integral part of Israeli culture. Osem produces a million bags of Bamba daily!
Osem now also produces strawberry-flavored Bamba that is round in shape instead of oblong and red and instead of the snack’s trademark yellow color, strawberry Bamba is known as ‘Red Bamba’ (Hebrew: במבה אדומה).
The Bamba Baby, the famous caricature that sits on every packet, was first presented in 1992. Since 1993 it has been integrated into all of Bamba’s advertising with the slogan “There’s nothing like Bamba.”
In March 2012, the Bamba Baby was chosen as the mascot for the 2012 Israeli Olympic team. However, a few days later Osem announced that the Bamba Baby logo could not serve as the Olympic mascot following an online campaign against the use of a commercial symbol to represent the national delegation.
When you are in Israel, you can go visit “The House of Bamba” located in Holon.
Photo: Dr. Avishai Teicher