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Nestlé S.A. is a Swiss multinational nutritional and health-related consumer goods company headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland. It is the largest food company in the world measured by revenues. Nestlé's products include baby food, bottled water, breakfast cereals, coffee, confectionery, dairy products, ice cream, pet foods and snacks. 29 of Nestlé's brands have annual sales of over 1 billion Swiss francs (about $ 1.1 billion), including Nespresso, Nescafé, KitKat, Smarties, Nesquik, Stouffer's, Vittel, and Maggi. Nestlé has around 450 factories, operates in 86 countries, and employs around 328,000 people. It is one of the main shareholders of L'Oréal, the world's largest cosmetics company. Nestlé was formed in 1905 by the merger of the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company, established in 1866 by brothers George Page and Charles Page, and Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé, founded in 1866 by Henri Nestlé. The company grew significantly during the First World War and again following the Second World War, expanding its offerings beyond its early condensed milk and infant formula products. The company has made a number of corporate acquisitions, including Crosse & Blackwell in 1950, Findus in 1963, Libby's in 1971, Rowntree Mackintosh in 1988 and Gerber in 2007. In 2011, Nestlé was listed No. 1 in the Fortune Global 500 as the world's most profitable corporation. With a market capitalization of $ 200 billion, Nestlé ranked No. 13 in the FT Global 2011.
Nestlé's origins date back to 1866, when two separate Swiss enterprises were founded that would later form the core of Nestlé. In the succeeding decades, the two competing enterprises aggressively expanded their businesses throughout Europe and the United States. In August 1867 Charles (US consul in Switzerland) and George Page, two brothers from Lee County, Illinois, USA, established the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company in Cham, Switzerland. Their first British operation was opened at Chippenham, Wiltshire, in 1873. In September 1866 in Vevey, Henri Nestlé developed a milk-based baby food, and soon began marketing it. The following year saw Daniel Peter begin seven years of work perfecting his invention, the milk chocolate manufacturing process. Nestlé's was the crucial cooperation that Peter needed to solve the problem of removing all the water from the milk added to his chocolate and thus preventing the product from developing mildew. Henri Nestlé retired in 1875 but the company under new ownership retained his name as Société Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé. n 1877 Anglo-Swiss added milk-based baby foods to their products and in the following year the Nestlé Company added condensed milk so that the firms became direct and fierce rivals. In 1905 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. The First World War created demand for dairy products in the form of government contracts, and, by the end of the war, Nestlé's production had 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 expansion into new products, with chocolate-manufacture becoming the company's second most important activity. Louis Dapples was...
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