Riding out the storm
The outbreak of World War Two in 1939 affects virtually every market, but Nestlé & Anglo-Swiss continues to operate in difficult circumstances, supplying both civilians and armed forces. In 1947, the company adds Maggi soups and seasonings to its product range, and adopts the name Nestlé Alimentana.
Fearing that the Axis powers could occupy Switzerland, Nestlé & Anglo-Swiss relocates some managers to a new office in Stamford in the US, which operates as the company’s second headquarters during the war. The fighting in Europe makes it impossible for Nestlé to export milk from there, so the company supplies Africa and Asia from the US and Australia, and expands production in Latin America.
Read more: What did we do when the bank called? Invented Nescafé
World War Two initially slows sales of Nescafé, but they pick up as hostilities continue. After the US enters the war, Nestlé brands rapidly gain popularity among American service personnel. At the end of the war, Nescafé is also included in CARE aid supplies in Japan and Europe. Nestea is launched in the late 1940s.
Nestlé & Anglo Swiss merges with Swiss company Alimentana, which produces Maggi soups, bouillons and seasonings, and is renamed Nestlé Alimentana. Alimentana’s history dates back to 1884, when Julius Maggi developed a protein-rich dried soup to tackle malnutrition.
Read more: Julius Maggi had his finger on the pulse