Without a Past, There Is No Future.
The Story of Tempo
The first beer brewery in Israel, “Eretz Israel Beer Industries” (also known as the “Palestine Beer Brewery”) is established in Rishon Lezion. The brewery’s leading brand was “Nesher beer,” with two kinds of beer: a white, pilsner style beer, and a non-alcoholic malt beverage called “Nesher Malt.”
Goldstar, Israel’s leading beer brand, is manufactured for the first time in the Palestine Beer Brewery in Rishon Lezion. A lager style beer, Goldstar was marketed as the choice beer of the Israeli man, and was sold at military cantinas accompanied by its age-old slogan “give the man a Goldstar.”
The new “National Brewery” facility is built in Netanya. The only beer brewery in Israel at that time, National Brewery’s flagship brand was called “Abir,” the Hebrew word for a knight. The popular beer got its romantic name by accident. British military troops stationed in Israel during the British mandate in the region would often go into bars asking for “a beer.” The simple English phrase happens to sound exactly like the Hebrew word Abir, which seemed a fitting name for the popular brew.
With Tempo’s lemon-lime beverage becoming increasingly popular, the company founder, Moshe Bornstein, decides to build a large, state-of-the-art factory in Holon. The Holon facility began producing new cola and orange-flavored soft drinks. Soon, dozens of Tempo trucks delivered Tempo beverages daily throughout the country. Tempo became uniquely popular among Israeli soldiers, as it was sold in army canteens.
Paul Newman appears in an ad for Tempo’s Godstar beer brand
Give the man a ride. give the man a Goldstar
Tempo expands further, launching a glass bottle production plant in Yeruham, a small town in the Israeli southern desert region of the Negev. The world’s most cutting-edge equipment is installed in the plant, enabling the production of 25,000 tons of glass. Shortly thereafter, the facility began manufacturing aluminum bottle caps, followed by the production of plastic crates for shipping. The high-quality, lighter bottles were also purchased and used by other beverage manufacturers in Israel.
Tempo launches Maccabee, a bright, pilsner-style beer. Pilsner beers originate from the town of Pilsen in the Czech Republic and are characterized by their hoppy taste and their high level of carbonation. To produce the highest-quality beer, a world-renowned German brewmaster was flown in to work at the brewery in Netanya. Maccabee was intended for export and was named after the Jewish Maccabees who victoriously fought the Greeks in the 2nd century BCE and became a symbol of Israeli bravery and pride. Maccabee exceeded all expectations and went on to win many international awards.
Tempo launches another groundbreaking innovation, the “Liter Plus,” a plastic-coated glass bottle designed to prevent the bottle from shattering. The new bottles featured screw caps, which could be resealed, making it possible for families to enjoy the beverage even days after first opening it. The family-sized “high-tech” bottle contained 1.2 liters of beverage.
A 1981 Maccabee beer ad
Tempo introduces the “Tempoli” soft drink. Intended for young consumers, Tempoli came in orange, apple, grapefruit, and grape flavors. Tempoli was sold in aluminum bags with a straw attached. In 1988, Tempo launched a sales promotion competition in which participants were asked to form the phrase “Toli Tempoli” with letters printed on the bags. The prizes included a walkie-talkie, a cassette camera, a visor-transistor, and even a talking robot.
Moshe Bornstein brings the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottle to Israel by launching the Kankal, a soft drink sold in 2-liter clear plastic bottles. A true revolution in the local soft drink market, the new bottles were an instant hit. Before the PET, family-size beverages were sold in glass bottles. The Kankal beverages were sold in three flavors: cola, lemon-lime, and orange After their appearance, glass bottles started to disappear from Israel’s soft drink market.
Tempo launches “Shandy,” a new lightly alcoholic beverage combining beer and lemonade. Shandy is a German-originated drink accidently concocted in 1912 during a traditional bicycle race in Bavaria. One of the beer sellers whose beer was running out decided to mix the remaining beer with lemonade, and the new cocktail won the hearts of the spectators. The launch of the Israeli Shandy beverage was accompanied by an unforgettable campaign starring then heartthrob Rod Stewart, with the slogan “I’m thirsty for your Shandy.”
A 1988 Maccabee ad
In April, Tempo begins selling Pepsi Cola in Israel, effectively importing the “Cola Wars” to the small country. Within a few years, Pepsi’s entire beverage portfolio became available across Israel.
In the years to come, Tempo would launch more products under the Pepsi Brand including Pepsi Max.
In 1992 Heineken enters the local Israeli beer market, and Tempo becomes its exclusive distributor. The brand quickly become the best-selling premium imported beer in Israel. The relationship between Heineken and Tempo became closer, culminating in Heineken’s 2005 acquisition of a 40% stake in Tempo. Heineken today is the world’s most widely distributed premium brand, sold in over 175 countries worldwide.
A 1994 Goldstar ad
A 1994 Maccabee ad
A 2001 Goldstar ad
Tempo is establishing its hold in the Israeli wine market, entering as a partner at prominent winery Barkan. Today, Tempo holds a 83% stake at Barkan, which has since become the most internationally awarded Israeli winery.
A 2004 Nesher Beer ad
A 2006 Goldstar ad
Tempo becomes PR exclusive distributor
Tempo gains a foothold in the energy drink market by becoming the Israeli distributor of XL energy drink.
A 2012 Pepsi ad
Tempo begins brewing Heineken beer in its Netanya brewery, making Israel the only country outside the Netherlands in which Heineken operates a local brewery.
Tempo broadens its presence in the soft drink market and acquires a share in Israeli beverage company Adir Ltd.
A 2015 Goldstar Unfiltered ad
Tempo becomes Beluga Vodka exclusive distributor
Tempo continues to expand its activity by entering the coffee market. In 2015, Tempo acquires Neni Group, an importer of premium coffee brands. Through its subsidiary, Tempo now markets coffee brands such as Mauro, Kimbo, Costadoro, and Moak.