Nestlé Company History Timeline


Nestlé agreed to follow the International Code in developing countries in 1984, and the boycott was suspended.


In 1985 Nestlé acquired Carnation, a United States manufacturer of milk, pet, and culinary products, for $3 billion, at the time one of the largest acquisitions in the history of the food industry.


In 1988 the company paid £2.55 billion ($4.4 billion) for Rowntree Mackintosh PLC--a leading British chocolate manufacturer--marking the largest takeover of a British company by a foreign one to date.


Capital expenditures reached CHF 2.8 billion in 1991.

Nescafé, sold in more than 100 countries by 1991, was launched in the Republic of Korea--Coca-Cola and Nestlé's first joint endeavor--as was Nescafé Cappuccino in Europe.


By early 1992, a joint venture allowed the company to obtain a majority interest in Cokoladovny, a Czechoslovakian chocolate and biscuit producer.

Hills Bros. "Perfect Balance," a 50 percent-decaffeinated coffee, began selling in the United States, as did Nestea in cans at the beginning of 1992.


In 1993 Nestlé purchased mineral water brands in the United States (Deer Park and Utopia) and Italy (Vera and San Bernardo), as well as ice cream brands in Italy, the Philippines, and South Africa.


Still further expansion of the ice cream sector came in 1995 with the purchase of Conelsa, the leader in the Spanish market; the chilled dairy products division of Pacific Dunlop in Australia; and Dolce S.A.E., the leading maker of ice cream in Egypt.


Meanwhile, in June 1997 Peter Brabeck-Letmathe was named chief executive, taking over the day-to-day management of Nestlé from Maucher.

In 1997 Nestlé entered the Canadian ice cream market through the purchase of Ault and Dairy World, giving the company a 40 percent market share.

Nestlé's aggressive marketing of infant formula once again became an issue in 1997 when a report called Cracking the Code was issued by the Interagency Group on Breastfeeding Monitoring (IGBM), which had conducted research in Bangladesh, Poland, South Africa, and Thailand.


Also in 1998 the company secured the number two position in the European pet food market, trailing only Mars, through the £715 million ($1.2 billion) purchase of the Spillers pet food business of Dalgety PLC.

The company had set a goal of achieving 4 percent underlying sales growth each year, but failed to meet this target for 1998, largely because of economic downturns in southeast Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.

1998: Nestlé acquires the Spillers pet food business belonging to Dalgety PLC, making it the second largest pet food maker in Europe.


Nestlé acquired PowerBar in 2000, but Brabeck-Letmathe's master stroke occurred two years later when he spent $10.3 billion to acquire Ralston-Purina.


Chef America, Inc., a frozen-food company, was also purchased in 2002.

The companies also end their joint venture Innéov, a cosmetic nutritional supplements business launched in 2002.

2002: Nestlé acquires Ralston-Purina to become co-leader in the global pet food business.


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 April 2007, returning to its roots, Nestlé bought US baby-food manufacturer Gerber for $5.5 billion.

In December 2007, Nestlé entered into a strategic partnership with a Belgian chocolate maker, Pierre Marcolini.


Nestlé creates a foodservice business division, named Nestlé Professional from 2009.


Nestlé agreed to sell its controlling stake in Alcon to Novartis on 4 January 2010.

The company also entered the frozen-pizza market in 2010 by purchasing Kraft Foods’ frozen-pizza business in the United States and Canada for $3.7 billion.


In July 2011, Nestlé SA agreed to buy 60 percent of Hsu Fu Chi International Ltd. for about $1.7 billion.


On 23 April 2012, Nestlé agreed to acquire Pfizer Inc.’s infant-nutritionunit for $11.9 billion.


As of 28 May 2013, Nestlé has announced that it will expand R&D in its research center in Singapore.

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Nestlé is 40 years old.

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