Nestlé SA

Nestlé SA
Multinational manufacturer of food products.

Headquartered in Vevey, Switz., it operates branches and subsidiaries in more than 70 countries. Its products include condensed and powdered milk, baby foods, chocolate, cheese, instant coffee and tea, condiments, and frozen foods. Its history dates to 1866, when two Swiss firms were established, the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Co. and a company founded by Henri Nestlé to manufacture the first infant formula. In 1905 they merged to become the Nestlé and Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Co. Nestlé created the first milk chocolate and in 1937 the first instant coffee, which it produced under the name Nescafé. It acquired various other firms, including Crosse & Blackwell in 1960, Stouffer Corp. in 1973, Carnation Co. in 1984, and Ralston Purina pet foods in 2001. Acquisitions have helped the company maintain its ranking as the world's largest food company. Nestlé adopted its present name in 1977.

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▪ Swiss manufacturer
      multinational manufacturer of food products. It is headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland, and operates factories in more than 80 countries. Nestlé's chief products are condensed and powdered milk, baby foods, chocolate products, candies, instant coffees and teas, soups, seasonings and condiments, frozen foods, ice cream, and bottled water. The company also produces pharmaceuticals.

      The company dates to 1866, 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 the United States, established the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company in Cham, Switzerland. In September, in nearby 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.

      From the beginning of the 20th century the Nestlé company began diversifying. In 1904 it bought chocolate rights that would eventually result in products under the Peter, Kohler, Nestlé, and Cailler brands. In 1927 it acquired rights from the cheesemakers Gerber & Company AG. In 1937 the company invented instant coffee, which it began producing under the name Nescafé the following year. In 1960 it acquired control of Crosse & Blackwell (founded 1830) and affiliated companies in Great Britain, Australia, South Africa, the United States, and elsewhere. Nestlé's bottled water division was created through the purchase of European brands such as Vittel (1990), Perrier (1992), and Sanpellegrino (1998). The many acquisitions of U.S. food companies have included Libby, McNeill & Libby (1970), the Stouffer Corporation (1973), and one of America's largest food companies, the Carnation Company (1985). In 2002 Nestlé's purchase of Ralston Purina (Ralston Purina Company) created a new division, Nestlé Purina PetCare, while Nestlé's American ice cream businesses were consolidated under the Dreyer's brand. Chef America, Inc., a frozen food company, was also purchased in 2002.

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Universalium. 2010.

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