|Founded||1866 (as Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company)|
1867 (as Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé)
1905 (as Nestlé and Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company)
|CHF13.75 billion (2018)|
|CHF10.46 billion (2018)|
|CHF137.01 billion (2018)|
|CHF58.40 billion (2018)|
Number of employees
Nestlé S.A. (
Nestlé's products include
Nestlé was formed in 1905 by the merger of the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company, established in 1866 by brothers George and Charles Page, and Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé, founded in 1866 by
Nestlé's origins date back to the 1860s, 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 1866, Charles Page (US consul to Switzerland) and George Page, brothers from
In 1867, in Vevey,
In 1877, Anglo-Swiss added milk-based baby foods to their products; in the following year, the Nestlé Company added
In 1879, Nestlé merged with milk chocolate inventor
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
In January 1919, Nestlé bought two condensed milk plants in
Nestlé felt the effects of the Second World War immediately. Profits dropped from US$20 million in 1938 to US$6 million in 1939. Factories were established in developing countries, particularly in Latin America. Ironically, the war helped with the introduction of the company's newest product,
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 CEO till 1937 when succeeded by
The end of World War II was the beginning of a dynamic phase for Nestlé. Growth accelerated and numerous companies were acquired. In 1947 Nestlé merged with
In the 1980s, Nestlé's improved bottom line allowed the company to launch a new round of acquisitions.
The first half of the 1990s proved to be favourable for Nestlé. Trade barriers crumbled, and world markets developed into more or less integrated trading areas. Since 1996, there have been various acquisitions, including
In December 2005, Nestlé bought the Greek company Delta Ice Cream for €240 million. In January 2006, it took full ownership of Dreyer's, thus becoming the world's largest ice cream maker, with a 17.5% market share. In July 2007, completing a deal announced the year before, Nestlé acquired the Medical Nutrition division of Novartis Pharmaceutical for US$2.5 billion, also acquiring, the milk-flavoring product known as
In April 2007, returning to its roots, Nestlé bought US baby-food manufacturer
Nestlé agreed to sell its controlling stake in
Since 2010, Nestle has been working to transform itself into a nutrition, health and wellness company in an effort to combat declining confectionery sales and the threat of expanding government regulation of such foods. This effort is being led through the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences under the direction of Ed Baetge. The institute aims to develop "a new industry between food and pharmaceuticals" by creating foodstuffs with preventative and corrective health properties that would replace
In July 2011, Nestlé SA agreed to buy 60 percent of Hsu Fu Chi International Ltd. for about US$1.7 billion. On 23 April 2012, Nestlé agreed to acquire
In recent years, Nestlé Health Science has made several acquisitions. It acquired Vitaflo, which makes clinical nutritional products for people with genetic disorders; CM&D Pharma Ltd., a company that specialises in the development of products for patients with chronic conditions like kidney disease; and Prometheus Laboratories, a firm specialising in treatments for gastrointestinal diseases and cancer. It also holds a minority stake in Vital Foods, a New Zealand-based company that develops kiwifruit-based solutions for gastrointestinal conditions as of 2012.
Another recent purchase included the
In December 2014, Nestlé announced that it was opening 10 skin care research centres worldwide, deepening its investment in a faster-growing market for healthcare products. That year, Nestlé spent about $350 million on dermatology research and development. The first of the research hubs, Nestlé Skin Health Investigation, Education and Longevity Development (SHIELD) centres, will open mid 2015 in New York, followed by Hong Kong and São Paulo, and later others in North America, Asia, and Europe. The initiative is being launched in partnership with the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA), a consortium that includes companies such as
In March 2017, Nestlé announced that they will lower the sugar content in
The company announced a $20.8 billion share buyback in June 2017, following the publication of a letter written by
In September 2017, Nestlé S.A. acquired a majority stake of Blue Bottle. While the deal's financial details were not disclosed, the Financial Times reported "Nestle is understood to be paying up to $500m for the 68 per cent stake in Blue Bottle". Blue Bottle expects to increase sales by 70% this year.
In September 2017, Nestlé USA agreed to acquire Sweet Earth, a California-based producer of plant-based foods, for an undisclosed sum.
In January 2018, Nestlé USA announced it is selling its US confectionary business to
In May 2018, it was announced that Nestlé and
Nestle set a new profit target in September 2017 and agreed to offload over 20 of its US candy brands in January 2018. However, sales grew only 2.4% in 2017, and as of July 2018, share price declined more than 8%. While some suggestions were adopted, Loeb said in a July 2018 letter that the shifts are too small and too slow. In a statement, Nestle wrote that it was "delivering results" and listed actions it had taken, including investing in key brands and its global coffee partnership with Starbucks. However, activist investors disagreed, leading Third Point Management to launch NestleNOW, a website to push its case with recommendations calling for change, accusing Nestle of not being as fast, aggressive, or strategic as it needs to be. Activist investors called for Nestle to divide into three units with distinct CEOs, regional structures, and marketing heads - beverage, nutrition, and grocery; spin off more businesses that do not fit its model such as ice cream, frozen foods, and confectionery; and add an outsider with expertise in the food and beverage industry to the board.