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History

Henri Nestlé

1866

In 1866 Henri Nestlé, a Swiss pharmacist, established the world-renowned Nestlé brand amid a spirit of innovation and goodwill.

Our vision and values

To be a leading, competitive, Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company delivering improved shareholder value by being a preferred corporate citizen, preferred employer, preferred supplier selling preferred products.


First Nestlé products to arrive in South Africa

1872

First Nestlé products to arrive in South Africa.

1916

The first Nestlé products arrived in South Africa during the 1870s, and the company’s presence in the country was formally entrenched on 7 July 1916 when it registered as a company.

1927

To meet the demands of a growing country, local production started in 1927 with the purchase of the South African Condensed Milk Company Ltd factory in Donnybrook and the Estcourt and Franklin factories of Joseph Baynes Limited.

 
One of the original Nestlé chocolate adverts

1937

Condensed milk and milk powders such as Nespray began to be manufactured in Standerton.

1938-1944

Nestlé’s newest product, NESCAFÉ launched worldwide. NESCAFÉ becomes the world’s top selling coffee brand.

1947

More diversification came in 1947 when Nestlé merged with Swiss company, Alimentana SA. This signalled the birth of the popular MAGGI bouillon cubes and dehydrated soups, which soon became a household name.

 
logo

 1960

Over the years Nestlé Zimbabwe has made substantial investments expanding and modernizing its operations to improve the  quality of its products, roll out new products and enhance the efficiencies of its operations. Some of these investments include commissioning a milk powder plant in 1961 to produce NESTLÉ NESPRAY and NESTLÉ LACTOGEN, launching NESTLÉ MOLICO - a low fat milk powder, and commencing the production of Sweetened Condensed Milk from fresh milk in 1965.

 

 
Nestlé head office

1973

Driven by the need to fulfill customer demand, Nestlé Zimbabwe ramped up the rollout of new products with the commissioning of a Silkborg Roller Drier in 1973 to produce NESTLÉ CERELAC AND NESTLÉ NESTUM.

1974

In 1974 Nestlé Zimbabwe commissioned vacuum ovens at its factory premises to produce NESTLÉ MILO locally. During the same year, the company launched two new products - NESTLÉ EVERYDAY Milk powder and NESTLÉ NESLAC.

1975

Nestlé's head office moved from downtown Johannesburg to Randburg.

1978 

A year shy of two decades in Zimbabwe, in 1978 Nestlé Zimbabwe changed its name to Food Specialties (Private) Ltd, to reflect the change in the shareholding structure. Nine years later, in 1987 the name changed again to the current name - Nestlé Zimbabwe, after Nestlé Global acquired majority ownership. The name change was crowned with the launch of Nestlé’s most popular breakfast cereal brand – NESTLÉ CEREVITA, with the company launching two variants in Zimbabwe later that year.

 

1985

Nestlé acquired US food giant Carnation.

1988

In 1988, Nestlé purchased Rowntree, a UK-based company, which is one of the world’s largest chocolate and confectionery companies. This acquisition brought with it the South African company, Wilson-Rowntree.

The amalgamation of the two companies was an ideal match of strengths and resulted in a formidable presence in the marketplace. In February 1988, Nestlé South Africa (Switzerland) and Borden Foods Corporation (Columbus, Ohio), entered into agreements for Nestlé to acquire a number of Borden Brands’ international activities.

Due to these acquisitions, Nestlé SA further strengthened its presence in the milk market with the takeover of the entire business of Borden (Pty) Ltd, manufacturers of well-known international brands such as CREMORA and KLIM.

 

1993

The formation of Dairymaid-Nestlé (Pty) Ltd in 1993, a 50% partnership with Imperial Cold Storage (Pty) Limited, marked the start of a formidable combination of expertise and branding, resulting in the development of innovative and quality ice cream products for the South African market.

1997

The sunset of the nineties saw the company continue with its product diversification strategy with the launch of NESTLÉ EVERYDAY Sweetened Condensed Blend in 1997 and MAGGI Relish Mix and MAGGI Soups in 1998.

 

2001-2003

In January 2002, Nestlé South Africa acquired the remaining 50% shareholding in Dairymaid-Nestlé (Pty) Ltd from Tiger Brands. As a result Dairymaid-Nestlé became a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestlé SA. The company was renamed Nestlé Ice Cream in early 2003.

By January 2002, Coca-Cola and Nestlé announced that their global joint venture partnership, Beverage Partners Worldwide (BPW), was extended to South Africa. This expansion to the South African market signalled the introduction of Nestea Ice Tea, which has helped to grow the ready-to-drink tea category in South Africa.

 
Harrismith Plant

2005

Harrismith plant upgraded to the state-of-the-art high tech infant formula production factory.

2006

Nestlé celebrated 90 years in South Africa. Nestlé’s presence in South Africa has resulted in a multi-million rand investment annually with purchases of milk and other raw materials. This in turn provides employment to more than 4 000 people and security for thousands of dependents.

 
cube

2006

The advent of the 2000s saw Nestlé Zimbabwe launch several MAGGI brand extensions, with MAGGI Soya Mince launched in 2006, MAGGI Stock Powders in 2007 and MAGGI Rich Flavours in 2011.

 
Potchefstroom Factory

2011

Nestlé South Africa launches new coffee creamer manufacturing factory after acquiring the Potchefstroom based Specialised Protein Products (SPP).

  

 

 
 

2012

In August 2012, then Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies and Global CEO of Nestlé Paul Bulcke, inaugurated two new factories in the Babelegi industrial area, Hammanskraal, for the production of its breakfast cereals and noodles.

 

2013

In February 2013, Nestlé South Africa sold a portion of its Waters business to Clover through a new entity formed by Nestlé and Clover, called Clover Waters.

In 2013, Nestlé Zimbabwe upgraded its factory with the commissioning of a MILO Production Plant and sachet filling machine. This was followed by the upgrade and refurbishment of its Ergon milk powder and creamer plant in 2015. During the same year, Nestlé Zimbabwe commissioned a Cereals Probiotic plant to produce Nestlé CEREALEC with probiotics. Later that year, the company completed the construction of its water treatment plant.

 

Harare

Today

Today, Nestlé Zimbabwe plays a strategic role as part of the Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR), a grouping of 23 countries. The Nestlé Harare factory produces a wide portfolio of products under two value chains – Dairy and Cereals. These products include brands such as NESTLÉ CEREVITA, NESTLÉ EVERYDAY and NESTLÉ CERELAC. Products produced at the Harare factory are both for the local market as well as exports into the SADC region.