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FOUNDER: Henri Nestlé (1814 - 1890)
LOGO: The first Nestlé logo 1868
Our history begins back in 1866, when the first European condensed milk factory was opened in Cham, Switzerland, by the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company. 1867
In Vevey, Switzerland, our founder Henri Nestlé, a German pharmacist, launched his Farine lactée, a combination of cow’s milk, wheat flour and sugar, saving the life of a neighbour’s child. Nutrition has been the cornerstone of our company ever since. “Henri Nestlé, himself an immigrant from Germany, was instrumental in turning his Company towards international expansion from the very start. We owe more than our name, our logo and our first infant-food product to our founder. Henri Nestlé embodied many of the key attitudes and values that form part and parcel of our corporate culture: pragmatism, flexibility, the willingness to learn, an open mind and respect for other people and cultures.” Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Nestlé Chairman 1905

The Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company, founded by Americans Charles and George Page, merged with Nestlé after a couple of decades as fierce competitors to form the Nestlé and Anglo-Swiss Milk Company.  FARINE LACTÉE: Condensed milk tins on display

The onset of World War I brought severe disruption to us along with the rest of the world. Acquiring raw materials and distributing products became increasingly difficult. Shortages of fresh milk throughout Europe forced factories to sell almost all their supplies to meet the needs of local towns. 1918

Nevertheless, the war created new demand for dairy products, largely in the form of government contracts. To keep up, Nestlé purchased several existing factories in the United States and, by war's end, we had 40 factories worldwide. NESCAFÉ: Tin from 1938

The 1920s were a time of deep economic hardship, and Nestlé suffered severe difficulties along with much of the world. Operations were partially streamlined, but the company was able to continue, and with the acquisition of Peter, Cailler, Kohler Swiss Chocolate Company, chocolate became an integral part of our business. This sparked further variety in the products we offered – including malted milk and a powdered drink called Milo. 1938

Nescafé coffee was launched.
Nescafé became an instant success and was followed in the early 1940s by Nestea. OLD FASHIONED: Chocolate bar from 1945
During World War II, Members of the Board and General Management were transferred to the U.S. where they coordinated Nestlé activities in the Western Hemisphere, the British Empire and overseas. 1943

Ironically, having slowed the initial launch of Nescafé, the war then helped to popularise it; with the United States entering the war, Nescafé coffee became a staple beverage of American servicemen serving in Europe and Asia. OLD POSTER: l'Oréal

The close of World War II marked the beginning of a particularly dynamic phase of our history. Dozens of new products were added as our growth accelerated and we acquired outside companies. 1947
The Maggi products, from seasoning to soups, become part of the Nestlé family following the merger with Alimentana S.A. 1948
Nesquik, the instant chocolate drink, was developed in the United States. Its original name of Quik was a direct allusion to the speed and simplicity of its preparation. 1974
For the first time we diversified outside the food industry when we became a major shareholder in L'Oréal, one of the world's leading makers of cosmetics.

Rising oil prices and slow growth in industrialised countries meant that we needed to respond to a radically changed marketplace. In 1977, we made our second venture outside the food industry by acquiringAlcon Laboratories Inc., a U.S. manufacturer of pharmaceutical and ophthalmic products.

A boycott against Nestlé was initiated by the U.S.-based organisation Infant Formula Action Coalition over concerns about our promotion of infant formula in developing...
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