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What did we do when the bank called? Invented Nescafé

Back to Nestlé company history

It’s 1929 and the bank has just called. Luckily we aren’t overdrawn. After The Wall Street Crash, ‘Banque Francaise et Italienne pour l’Amerique du Sud’ has woken up and smelt the coffee. A lot of coffee. Think: bank owns beans in Brazil. Coffee price has crashed. Bank can’t sell beans. Bank isn’t happy.


Can Nestlé help turn the beans into soluble coffee? “Yes!” we reply. Job done? Not quite. Fast-forward nine years and our lead scientist on the project, Max Morgenthaler, suddenly has a ‘Eureka!’ moment.

Nescafé ads

Max has invented a convenient soluble coffee powder that preserves the bean’s real aroma, but lasts a lot longer. As a result of his breakthrough work, we launch Nescafé in 1938. It takes Switzerland by storm, and in two short months the world is enjoying our entire reserve for one year. Stick the kettle on!

young people drinking Nescafé

Today Nescafé is the world’s favourite coffee brand, with more than 5,500 cups drunk every second and a whole new generation of fans. We’ve even opened hip coffee houses in Tokyo, Seoul and Mexico City. And crucially, we’re working hard to help those who supply us to farm sustainably, under the Nescafé Plan.

Read more about Nescafé