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    Baby Ruth Breakfast, Brunch, Desserts
    Nestlé is a multinational packaged food company, founded and headquartered in Switzerland. It was set up in 1866 by Henri Nestlé to provide an infant food product. Several of Nestlé's brands are globally renowned, which made the company a global market leader in many product lines, including milk, chocolate, confectionery, bottled water, coffee, creamer, nutritious foods, food seasoning, pet foods, etc. Nestlé's corporate reputation is one of the highest among Switzerland's largest companies, and it is one of the top five world's most respected food and beverages companies. A world's leading food company, it is also a world leader in food and nutrition research and development. The company stock is listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange. The principal shareholder of Nestlé is Liliane Bettencourt, the world's wealthiest woman.

    History

    Nestlé was founded in 1866.

    In the 1860s Henri Nestlé, a pharmacist, developed a food for babies whose mothers were unable to breastfeed. His first success was a premature infant who could not tolerate his own mother's milk nor any of the usual substitutes. The value of the new product was quickly recognized when his new formula saved the child's life, and soon, Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé was being sold in much of Europe.

    In 1905 Nestlé merged with the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company. By the early 1900s, the company was operating factories in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. World War I created new demand for dairy products in the form of government contracts. By the end of the war, Nestlé's production had more than doubled.

    The first Nestlé factory to begin production in the United States was opened in Fulton, Oswego County, New York. The factory however was closed in 2001, after the company decided that the cost of restoring, and updating the factory was not worth the effort. Employees of the factory were furious, and raised the company flag upside down the day the closing was announced.

    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 the company's second most important activity.

    Nestlé felt the effects of World War II immediately. Profits dropped from $20 million in 1938 to $6 million in 1939. Factories were established in developing countries, particularly Latin America. Ironically, the war helped with the introduction of the company's newest product, Nescafé, which was a staple drink of the US military. Nestlé's production and sales rose in the wartime economy.

    The end of World War II was the beginning of a dynamic phase for Nestlé. Growth accelerated and companies were acquired. In 1947 came the merger with Maggi seasonings and soups. Crosse & Blackwell followed in 1950, as did Findus (1963), Libby's (1971) and Stouffer's (1973). Diversification came with a shareholding in L'Oréal in 1974. In 1977, Nestlé made its second venture outside the food industry by acquiring Alcon Laboratories Inc.

    In 1984, Nestlé's improved bottom line allowed the company to launch a new round of acquisitions, notably American food giant Carnation and the British confectionary company Rowntree Macintosh in 1988.

    The first half of the 1990s proved to be favorable for Nestlé: trade barriers crumbled and world markets developed into more or less integrated trading areas. Since 1996 there have been acquisitions including San Pellegrino (1997), Spillers Petfoods (1998) and Ralston Purina (2002). There were two major acquisitions in North America, both in 2002: in June, Nestlé merged its U.S. ice cream business into Dreyer's [1], and in August a $2.6 billion acquisition was announced of Chef America, Inc. In the same time frame, Nestlé came close to purchasing the iconic American company Hershey's, though the deal fell through. Another recent purchase include the Jenny Craig fitness firm for $600 million.

    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 biggest ice cream maker with a 17.5% market share.

    Main products

    Nestlé has a wide range of products across a number of markets including coffee (Nescafé), water, other beverages, ice cream, infant foods, performance and healthcare nutrition, seasonings, frozen and refrigerated foods, confectionery and pet food. For a list of some of these brands, see List of Nestlé brands.

    Links

    Official website of Nestlé
    http://www.nestle.com/

    Official Website of Nestlé Waters
    http://www.nestle-waters.com/

    Official Nestlé Waters North America Website
    http://www.nestle-watersna.com/

    Official Nestlé Water Brands Delivery Site
    http://delivery.myspringwater.com/
    Nestlé logo
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