1981-2005


Towards Nutrition, Health and Wellness


Following years of growth, Nestlé disposes of unprofitable brands and promotes those that satisfy increasingly health conscious consumers, in line with its new ‘Nutrition, Health and Wellness’ ambition. The company expands in the US, Eastern Europe and Asia, and targets for global leadership in water, ice cream and animal food.

Highlights


1981

Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine frozen meals are launched on a low-fat, low-calorie platform, and the brand posts impressive sales. Nestlé and L’Oreal establish Galderma as a joint venture active in dermatology. The World Health Assembly adopts the WHO code on breast-milk substitutes, and Nestlé is one of the first companies to develop policies based on it and apply them across its business.


1985

Carnation company

By acquiring US-based Carnation Company for USD 3 billion, Nestlé adds brands such as Carnation and Coffee-Mate to its portfolio. It also enters the pet food business when it buys the Friskies brand.

Read more: How did Carnation flower as a brand?


1986

Nespresso

The Nespresso story begins with a simple idea: enable anyone to create a perfect cup of coffee, just like a skilled barrista.

Read more: Calling coffee pilgrims everywhere! Nespresso


1988

KitKat, Nuts, Smarties

Nestlé buys UK confectionery company Rowntree Mackintosh, adding brands including KitKat, After Eight and Smarties to its portfolio. It also acquires Italian pasta, sauce and confectionery group Buitoni-Perugina.


1991

Nestlé establishes a joint venture with General Mills, Cereal Partners Worldwide, to produce and market breakfast cereals globally. The company also creates a joint venture with The Coca-Cola Company to form Beverage Partners Worldwide, to manufacture and market brands including Nestea.


1992

Perrier

Nestlé develops its position in mineral waters by acquiring France’s Perrier Group. Nestlé Sources Internationales is created as a separate waters business in 1993, and is renamed Nestlé Waters in 2002.

Read more: How a Victorian exercise craze whipped Perrier into shape


1997

New CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe sees growth potential in personalised nutrition. He articulates Nestlé’s position as the leader in ‘Nutrition, Health and Wellness’, as the millennium approaches.


1998

woman drinking Nestlé Pure Life

Nestlé buys Italian mineral waters business Sanpellegrino Group. Nestlé Pure Life is launched in developing countries, to guarantee clean and healthy drinking water, and Aquarel is launched in Europe two years later.


2000

farmers

The Sustainable Agricultural Intiative Nestlé (SAIN) is launched to promote collaboration with local farmers. It aims to improve their living standards and ensure a sustainable supply of commodities.


2001

selection of Nestlé Purina Petcare products

Nestlé buys US pet food business Ralston Purina, and merges it with Nestlé Friskies Petcare to establish the new market leader in pet care, Nestlé Purina Petcare.


2002

Mövenpick ice cream

After expanding its ice-cream business in the 1990s, Nestlé acquires the licensing rights to premium producer Häagen-Dazs in the US and Canada, and buys Mövenpick and Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream in 2003. It also acquires frozen foods business Chef America for USD 2.6 billlion.