Since Henri Nestlé developed the first milk food for infants in 1867, and saved the life of a neighbor’s child, the Nestlé Company has aimed to build a business as the world's leading nutrition, health and wellness company based on sound human values and principles.
Nestlé (IPA: /[nɛsle]/) is a multinational packaged food company founded and headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland, and listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange with a turnover of over 87 billion Swiss francs. It originated in a 1905 merger of the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company for milk products established in 1866 by the Page Brothers in Cham, Switzerland, and the Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé Company set up in 1866 by Henri Nestlé to provide an infant food product. The two world wars both affected growth: during the first, dried milk was widely used but the second war caused profits to drop by around 70%. However, sales of the instant coffee Nescafé were boosted by the US military. After the wars, growth was stimulated by acquisitions expanding its range and taking control of several well known brands, so they now include Maggi, Thomy and Nescafé, that are known globally. The company updated its corporate branding in the 1970s.
Nestlé headquarters in Vevey
The company dates to 1867, when two separate Swiss enterprises were founded that would later form the core of Nestlé. In August of that year, Charles A. and George Page, brothers from Lee County, IL in the United States, established the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company in Cham. In September, in Vevey, Henri Nestlé developed a milk-based baby food and soon began marketing it. In the succeeding decades both enterprises aggressively expanded their businesses throughout Europe and the United States. (Henri Nestlé retired in 1875, but the company, under new ownership, retained his name as Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé.) In 1877 Anglo-Swiss added milk-based baby foods to its products, and in the following year the Nestlé company added condensed milk, so that the firms became direct and fierce rivals.
In 1905, however, the companies merged to become the Nestlé and Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company, retaining that name until 1947, when the name Nestlé Alimentana SA was taken as a result of the acquisition of Fabrique de Produits Maggi SA (founded 1884) and its holding company, Alimentana SA of Kempttal, Switzerland. Maggi was a major manufacturer of soup mixes and related foodstuffs. The company’s current name was adopted in 1977. By the early 1900s, the company was operating factories in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. World War I created new demand for dairy products in the form of government contracts, by the end of the war, Nestlé's production more than doubled.
After the war, government contracts dried up and consumers switched back to fresh milk. However, Nestlé's management responded quickly, streamlining operations and reducing debt. The 1920s saw Nestlé's first...