Nestle, founded in Sweden in 1866, when two Swiss businesses joined forces. These companies, headed by Henri Nestle and Charles and George Page, began an aggressive campaign to expand their business into Europe, then the America’s, and beyond.
The company grew extensively after both WWI and WWII. Nestlé’s products include baby food, medical food, bottled water, breakfast cereals, coffee and tea, confectionery, dairy products, ice cream, frozen food, pet foods, and snacks.
Nestle is now the biggest food and beverage company in the world when measuring revenue. The company had revenue in 2017 of $91.6 billion. The company has expanded tremendously over their 152-year history, far beyond their condensed milk and infant formula beginnings.
In 1984, the company acquired Carnation, one of the largest dairy manufacturers in the US at the time. Later that same decade, the company acquired Friskies, a cat food manufacturer, as well as Coffee-Mate and Rowntree Mackintosh, candy makers whose brands include Kit-Kats and Smarties.
The company has 447 factories in 194 countries and employs almost a half a million persons. Nestle has 64 brands and has joint ventures with at least 8 other global companies, including General Mills and Coca-Cola.
In May of 2015, Food Safety Regulators from the Uttar Pradesh in India found that samples of Nestlé’s leading noodle brand, MAGGI, had up to 17 times beyond permissible safe limits of lead in addition to heavy quantities of monosodium glutamate. India’s government made public that it was seeking damages of nearly $100 million from Nestlé India for “unfair trade practices” following the June ban on Maggi noodles.The suit was finally settled for 6,400 million rupees in August of 2015. Nestlé destroyed 400 million packets of Maggi products and sales resumed in November of 2015.
In 2017, the company moved their USA headquarters from Glendale, California, to Rosslyn, Virginia.