Nestlé is a Swiss multinational food and drink conglomerate holding the title of the world’s largest publicly held food company.
It was founded in 1867 by Henri Nestlé who developed a milk-based food for babies unable to breastfeed from their mothers.
Around this time, another company called Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company was founded by American brothers Charles and George Page.
Nestlé then sold his company in 1875 to three businessmen who employed chemists and skilled personnel to expand production into new markets.
Over time, both Nestlé and Anglo-Swiss became fierce rivals and started selling different versions of each other’s original products.
Nestlé as the company most know today would not be formed until 1905 when the two companies merged.
After the merger, Nestlé expanded into chocolate and then numerous other industries such as frozen food, beverages, pet food, snacks, bottled water, coffee, and tea.
Let’s look at a few of the brands in these industries below.
Blue Bottle Coffee
Blue Bottle Coffee is a café chain with over 100 stores across the United States and Asia.
To honor a commitment to become carbon neutral by 2024, Nestle only works with coffee farmers who prioritize the health of the environment.
Products include Blue Bottle blends, single origin coffees, espresso, cold brews, and Night Light decaffeinated coffee.
Perrier is a French mineral water brand known for its carbonation and unique green bottle.
Perrier is sourced from a spring in southern France that is naturally carbonated and was used as early as 218 BC by Hannibal and his army.
In addition to plain mineral water, Perrier is also available in flavors such as lemon, lime, grapefruit, peach and cherry, pineapple and mango, and strawberry and kiwi.
The company was acquired in 1992 for $2.6 billion.
Smarties are colorful sugar-coated chocolate buttons that were originally manufactured in England by Rowntree’s.
The brand is mostly sold in Europe, Canada, the Middle East, and Australasia.
In the United States, the confectionary is not available since the naming rights belong to a similar product made by the Smarties Candy Company.
Rowntree’s was taken over by Nestle in 1988 after selling the candy under the Smarties brand for 106 years.
However, smarties themselves continued to be manufactured at Rowntree’s York, England factory until 2006 when production was moved to Germany.
Maggi is a Swiss brand comprised of various noodle, instant soup, and seasoning products.
The company commenced operations in 1884 with Julius Maggi, a pioneer in industrial food production who wanted to improve nutritional standards among busy working-class families.
Maggi, who dreamed of making his products as common as salt and pepper, formally established the company in 1897 as Maggi GmbH.
Before the turn of the century, Maggi developed powdered pea soup, liquid seasoning sauce, and bouillon stock cubes that are still available in some form today.
Maggi was acquired early on by Nestle in 1947.
Purina is an American Nestlé subsidiary that manufactures pet food products under the same name. The subsidiary also houses related Nestlé brands such as Friskies and Beneful.
Purina was founded in 1894 as the Robinson-Danforth Commission Company which initially focused on feeding farm animals.
It then became Ralston Purina in 1902, and almost 100 years later, merged with Nestlé’s pet food interests in a $10.3 billion deal.
- Nestlé is a Swiss multinational food and drink conglomerate that is the world’s largest publicly held food company. It was officially founded in 1905 when Henri Nestlé’s concern merged with the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company.
- Nestlé’s brands include the Blue Bottle Coffee café chain that serves sustainable, brewed-to-order coffee in over 100 outlets. Nestlé also owns French carbonated water brand Perrier and English confectionary brand Smarties.
- Maggie and Purina are Nestlé brands that were founded in the 1800s, with the former occurring in 1947 and marking a period of rapid growth for the company through mergers and acquisitions.
Read Next: Nestlé Business Model.
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