Vevey and Cham , Switzerland
Ulf Mark Schneider ( CEO )
( Chairman of the Board of Directors )
|Number of employees||291,000 (2019)|
|sales||92.6 billion CHF (2019)|
|Status: February 13, 2020|
With a turnover of 90.8 billion US dollars and a profit of 8.7 billion US dollars, Nestlé is the 42nd largest company in the world according to Forbes Global 2000 (as of May 2019). According to the Fortune Global 500 , it is also one of the 100 companies with the highest turnover worldwide (as of the 2017 financial year). The company had a market capitalization of $ 229.5 billion in early 2017, making it the most valuable company in Switzerland. Nestlé's corporate policy has come under constant criticism due to numerous environmental crimes, allegations of water exploitation, rainforest destruction and unhealthy baby food.
In 2018, the group generated sales of CHF 91.4 billion and a net profit of CHF 13.8 billion. Nestlé operates 447 production sites, is active in 190 countries and employs a total of around 309,000 people.
Sales in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa amounted to CHF 26.9 billion (29.4% of worldwide sales in 2018), of which CHF 2.752 billion in Germany (3.0%), of which CHF 1.241 billion in Switzerland (1 , 3%).
Global sales (2018) by product category are broken down as follows:
- 24% beverages in liquid and powder form
- 18% nutrition and health products
- 14% dairy products and ice cream
- 14% products for pets
- 13% ready meals and products for the kitchen
- 9% confectionery
- 8% water products
The major joint ventures include Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW) , a 50/50 joint venture founded in 1990 together with General Mills , USA, for breakfast cereal products outside the USA, and the joint venture Beverage Partners Worldwide (BPW) with Coca-Cola for the Distribution of tea drinks with a focus on Europe and Canada.
The largest shareholder of Nestlé SA ( as of February 28, 2018 ) is Nestlé SA itself with 3.01%. Other shareholders who hold over 2% of the shares: The Vanguard Group (2.9%) and Norges Bank Investment Management (2 , 62%).
Ulf Mark Schneider has been CEO of Nestlé since January 1, 2017 .
Most products are guided by geography or country. The heads of the three regions Europe, America, Asia, Oceania and Africa are members of the Executive Committee. The following, globally managed product areas are excluded from this:
- Nestlé Waters (water)
- Nestlé Nutrition (baby food)
- Nespresso (coffee)
- Nestlé Professional (Gastronomy)
- Nestlé Health Science (treating chronic diseases through nutrition)
The heads of the units listed in bold are also members of the Executive Committee. The results of Waters and Nutrition are reported separately in the annual report.
Chairman of the Board of Directors
- May 1973 to April 1982: Pierre Liotard-Vogt
- June 1990 to May 2000: Helmut Maucher
- April 2005 to April 2017: Peter Brabeck-Letmathe
- since April 2017: Paul Bulcke
Heinrich Nestle , born in Frankfurt am Main in 1814 , went to Switzerland after an apprenticeship as a pharmacist, where he laid the foundation for a remarkable career. In 1867, the pharmacist succeeded in producing a soluble milk powder that could be given to infants as a breast milk substitute (Nestlé children's meal ). Cans were used as packaging, which mainly contained condensed cow's milk and rusks. Swiss origins were put in the foreground in advertising, and it was sold by pharmacists and doctors instead of grocers.
The Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé lk.A. was founded by him in 1866. He used his family coat of arms as the company logo. His family name means "little nest" in Swabian. The family coat of arms with brood care was suitable for his first product and is still the company's coat of arms today.
In 1875, Henri Nestlé sold everything and withdrew from the company entirely. At that time, over a million cans were produced each year and sold in 18 countries on five continents.
In 1898 the first foreign factory was taken over, a milk powder factory in Norway. In 1905 Nestlé merged with the then much larger Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company in Cham ZG . The Nestlé brand name was retained because of its greater popularity among the population. In 1929 the chocolate producers Peter, Cailler , Kohler and Nestlé merged, again the name Nestlé prevailed. The marketing of soluble coffee ( Nescafé ) from 1938 onwards brought the company big profits. In 1947 the merger with Maggi AG followed and the name changed to Nestlé AG. Further takeovers followed: Findus AG in 1963 and Ursina-Franck AG in 1971 (see also Johann Heinrich Franck , Caro-Kaffee , Thomy and Bärenmarke ). The company name has now been changed to Nestlé SA.
In 1974, under the management of Pierre Liotard-Vogt , the company acquired 51% of the Gesparal holding company and thus for the first time shares in a non-food company. Gesparal held 53.7% of the shares in the cosmetics company L'Oréal . In 2004 Gesparal was merged with L'Oréal and Nestlé now holds 23.3% of the company. In 1981, Galderma was founded as a joint venture between Nestlé and L'Oréal. In 2014 Nestlé took over the 50% stake in L'Oréal, and Galderma has since been part of the new Nestlé Skin Health division. The Bübchen brand has been part of the group since 1983.
Another non-food takeover for $ 280 million followed in 1977 with Alcon . In 2002 Nestlé decided to list 24% of Alcon shares on the stock exchange before Novartis acquired around 25% in 2008 and the remaining 52% of Nestlé's shares in 2010 for approximately US $ 11 billion and US $ 28.3 billion, respectively. The total revenue for Nestlé from these sales was approximately $ 41 billion.
The next takeover in the food industry took place in 1985 - the US company Carnation was taken over for three billion US dollars .
In 1986 the independently managed Nestlé Nespresso SA was founded.
In 1988, the British chocolate and confectionery group Rowntree Mackintosh and the Italian dough and confectionery group Buitoni were taken over . With the takeover of Perrier and Sanpellegrino , Nestlé entered the mineral and table water market in the 1990s.
In 2002 Nestlé took over the American animal feed company Ralston Purina for 10.3 billion US dollars and integrated it into the group as Nestlé Purina PetCare . This made Nestlé the world leader in pet food for dog and cat food. In Germany, however, Nestlé is still behind Mars (39%) with around 20% market share . Also in 2002, the Schöller holding (Schöller and Mövenpick ice cream) was taken over by the previous shareholders Südzucker AG and the Schöller family. In the same year, Nestlé sold the Maggi site in Kemptthal , along with its flavor production, to Givaudan .
In June 2002 Nestlé announced that it would merge its ice cream division in the USA with the largest ice cream manufacturer in the USA Dreyer's and thereby take over 67% of the new, enlarged company. In 2006 Nestlé finally took over 100% of Dreyer's and thus became the world market leader in the ice cream business.
At the end of 2004, the German Nestlé took over 49% of Wagner Tiefkühlprodukte GmbH in order to compete in the German market for frozen pizzas against competitors Dr. Oetker and the Freiberger Group . At the beginning of 2010, Nestlé finally took over the majority in Wagner with 74%. Nestlé has held all shares in the company since 2012.
For strategic reasons, Nestlé Schöller sold the production of private label ice cream (for Aldi, Lidl, Penny, etc.) at the Nuremberg and Prenzlau locations to Rosen Eiskrem GmbH on January 1, 2007 .
In September 2006 the European Commission gave its approval for a joint venture between Nestlé (40%) and Lactalis (60%) in the field of fresh products under the name Lactalis Nestlé Produits Frais (LNPF) , which would start at the end of 2006 . The cooperation project extends to eight EU countries (France, Belgium, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Portugal) and Switzerland. This campaign keeps Nestlé number one in the global dairy industry ahead of Lactalis, Dean Foods (USA) and Danone (France).
In April 2007, Nestlé took over the US child food manufacturer Gerber from the pharmaceutical company Novartis for 5.5 billion US dollars . This made Nestlé number 1 in baby food not only in the USA, the largest national market for this, but also worldwide.
Nestlé sold its 77 percent stake in the eye care product manufacturer Alcon to Novartis in two tranches: in 2008, 24.8% was sold for 10.4 billion dollars, and in 2010 the remaining 52% for around 28.3 billion dollars. Nestlé raised a total of $ 38.7 billion for these investments.
On January 5, 2010, Nestlé announced the takeover of the frozen pizza business of the US food company Kraft Foods (since 2012: Mondelēz International ) for 3.7 billion US dollars. These include the brands DiGiorno , Tombstone , California Pizza Kitchen , Jack's and Delissio . Nestlé thus also became the world market leader in the frozen pizzas market segment.
In April 2012, Nestlé bought the baby food division of US pharmaceutical company Pfizer to expand its exposure to fast-growing baby food markets in emerging and developing countries.
As part of the horse meat scandal in 2013 , traces of horse meat were detected in products from the subsidiary Buitoni during our own controls . Nestlé then withdrew the affected products from the market.
On January 19, 2016, the company announced that it had entered into a partnership with online retailer Alibaba . The group wants to expand their e-commerce activities.
On January 17, 2018, it was announced that Nestlé would sell the US confectionery business to Ferrero .
On March 28, 2018, Nestlé announced that it would divest its water business in Brazil . The brands “São Lourenço” and “Petrópolis”, three plants and various sales licenses would be taken over by Indalá Minalba, a subsidiary of Grupo Edson Queiroz. The company is thus also parting with the licenses for “Pureza Vital” and the distribution rights for Perrier , S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna for Brazil. The transaction must be approved by the competition authorities, it said. A purchase price was not mentioned.
On May 7, 2018, the collaboration with Starbucks was announced. Nestlé has acquired the worldwide rights to commercialize Starbucks consumer and hospitality products for $ 7.15 billion in cash.
Numerous mergers and acquisitions have resulted in a large number of well-known brands in the Nestlé Group.
Nestlé has more than 2,000 brands worldwide, according to various sources.
Sustainable business management
Supply chain management
Nestle recognizes that significant environmental impacts and risks - for example in the water sector - arise from the procurement of its agricultural raw materials. The company's own program for traceability in responsible supplier relationships (Responsible Sourcing Traceability Program) includes several components:
- A review program for the immediate suppliers ( tier 1 ; audit programs ),
- A Farmer Connect program; according to independently received information, Nestlé alone has 690,000 farms in the supply chain,
- Mandatory requirements for suppliers (The Nestlé Supplier Code) ,
- Supplementary recommendations for responsible supply relationships (Nestlé Responsible Sourcing Guideline) .
The requirements of the Supplier Code are not only aimed at direct suppliers, but also at sub-suppliers and subcontractors within the entire supply chain. For the procurement of cocoa raw materials, traceability down to the level of individual farmer groups is planned; According to the company, traceability efforts were either undertaken in 2012 or were in development for coffee , dairy products , eggs, fish and seafood , hazelnuts , meat , palm oil , paper and cardboard, poultry , soy , sugar and vanilla . As an incentive for suppliers to “introduce more sustainable practices”, Nestlé pays training and education measures or, if deficiencies are identified, requested improvement programs.
In 2013, Oxfam assessed the sustainability efforts of various large food companies (Behind the Brands Scorecard) . Like the other companies, Nestlé was heavily criticized: "Not even on paper do the companies show sufficient social and ecological awareness of the problem". The 2015 scorecard ranks Nestlé in second place behind Unilever with 69%. The behind-the-brands campaign leader said in September 2015, “All of these are fundamental commitments and we are seeing progress because sustainability is new in the food sector. The big challenge for the company is now to translate words into action and to put it into practice ».
In the 1970s and 1980s, Nestlé and other companies were criticized for marketing infant formula in developing countries. They were accused of using aggressive sales methods, such as dressing up salespeople as nurses and handing out free samples, the use of which leads to the drying up of breast milk when breastfeeding is stopped . This made mothers permanently dependent on the expensive products, which, however, were unaffordable for parts of the population; In addition, damage to health and the death of infants through preparation with contaminated water were accepted.
When the Working Group 3. Welt Bern published the study Nestlé kills babies on the subject in 1974 , Nestlé sued for defamation. The company found the title defamatory, as well as the information that Nestlé was responsible for the deaths of thousands of babies, Nestlé's behavior was unethical and Nestlé sales staff were disguised as nurses. The "Nestlé Trial" ended in 1976 with a fine for the study title and acquittal on the other points, as well as an exhortation from the judge to Nestlé to reconsider its marketing practices. In 1984 the company finally agreed to comply with the International Code for the Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes , adopted by the WHO and UNICEF in 1981 . In 2015, an edition of the show Markencheck of the First German Television drew attention to eye-catching advertising for milk powder in the Philippines for older children by the Nestlé subsidiary Wyeth. Nestlé denied that these advertisements lead to an increase in the use of milk substitutes.
Nestlé has been criticized for using genetically modified ingredients. In 1999 the Butterfinger chocolate bar with genetically modified ingredients was withdrawn from the German market after a lack of success. Previously there had been protests by Greenpeace . In 2010, chocolate bars Butterfinger and BabyRuth were discovered in the German retail trade - according to Nestlé information, produced for the US market and independently imported . According to Nestlé, it does not use genetically modified raw materials for the European market.
Child labor, human trafficking and forced labor
Due to the drop in cocoa prices between 1980 (approx. 5,000 USD / ton) and 2000 (approx. 1,200 USD / ton), more and more children were used to harvest cocoa on smallholder cocoa plantations in West Africa for reasons of cost. Nestlé sources cocoa from smallholder plantations through a multi-level network of intermediaries. a. from Ivory Coast. Nestlé has been accused of doing too little to improve conditions on the cocoa plantations. In September 2001 Nestlé signed the Harkin-Engel Protocol . This protocol contains measures that should lead to an end to the worst forms of child labor and slavery in the cocoa industry. The agreed measures led, among other things, to the establishment of the International Cocoa Initiative , which aims to combat child labor and forced labor in cocoa cultivation. However, a report by ARD in 2010 came to the conclusion that "the chocolate industry at least tolerates child trafficking and child labor". The Austrian investigative journalists Klaus Werner Lobo and Hans Weiss accuse the group of "exploitation and child slavery" on the cocoa plantations on the Ivory Coast. A 2015 report by Tulane University found that child labor increased significantly between 2008/09 and 2013/14 in Ghana and the Ivory Coast as a whole.
In 2005, the International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF) and the law firm Wiggins, Childs, Quinn & Pantazis, LLC filed lawsuits against various companies, including Nestlé S. A and Nestlé USA, for child trafficking, torture and forced child labor. It affects children between the ages of 12 and 14 who were abducted from Mali to the Ivory Coast to be forced to work without wages, sleep and physical violence.
Following criticism of the work situation in the Thai fishing industry by the International Labor Organization in 2013, Nestlé commissioned an independent review of its supply chain. In August 2015 buyers ranged from cat food a civil class action (class action) against two US companies Nestlé for breach of California consumer protection laws a. Nestlé knows about cheap slavery-like working conditions in its supply chain. The review commissioned by Nestlé at the end of 2015 found that there were “indications of forced labor , human trafficking and child labor ” in the supply chain. Nestlé announced an action plan.
Unfair trading, fraud and illegal price fixing
In Colombia , Nestlé is accused of mass selling expired milk powder and repressing unions.
In September 2011, the NGO Solidar Suisse launched a campaign in which it called on the Nestlé brand Nespresso to offer fair trade coffee . The company "Nestlé Nespresso AG", based in Lausanne , is part of the Nestlé Group, but operates independently on the market. In 2010 sales amounted to 3.2 billion Swiss francs and sales of 4.8 billion coffee capsules. The focus of the campaign was a parody of a Nespresso commercial with George Clooney . The spot was viewed over 500,000 times on YouTube within a few days. The parent company Nestlé refused to comment on the allegations.
In 2013 the Federal Cartel Office fined Nestlé € 20 million for illegal price fixing with the Kraft Foods Group . Allegations about price fixing in chocolate in Canada were Nestlé out of court in a comparison settled.
In August 2011, the accused animal rights organization PETA Nestlé ago, for tea brand Nestea to Perform or its ingredients on animals. The mice and rats used are beheaded after their suffering, although these animal experiments are not required by law for beverage manufacturers. In addition, American and European supervisory authorities have emphasized that animal experiments are neither necessary nor can they provide sufficient evidence as proof of the health-promoting properties of a drink or food.
At the beginning of 2010, Greenpeace published a “provocative video” in the accompanying text of which Nestlé, the manufacturer of Kitkat, is accused of purchasing palm oil from companies that are destroying the Indonesian rainforest and bringing the orangutan to the brink of extinction. A major social media campaign began against the group. Nestlé stopped purchasing palm oil from the criticized Indonesian Sinar Mas Group in March . In 2009, Greenpeace accused Sinar Mas of being involved in illegal logging and reclamation of bogs . According to the company, the allegations could be rejected after an independent review with the participation of the British Standards Institution. In May 2010, Nestlé announced that it would enter into an alliance with The Forest Trust . First of all, strict social and environmental standards should be adhered to when purchasing palm oil, and then also to pulp and paper. Greenpeace welcomed this, the group is moving in the right direction. The “Kitkat campaign” initiated by Greenpeace was considered to be the most successful environmental protest on social media to date (also because of the large number of consumers involved) .
In the 2009 documentary Bottled , it was criticized that the company had their water pumped out practically free of charge, regardless of the population in rural communities, and sold it on at a large profit. In addition, the plastic bottles pollute the environment and pose a threat to the world's oceans . Plastic bottles release plastic particles into the water and the latter is therefore less healthy than tap water. Something essential to life like water must not become a pure economic good. The company has acquired water rights worldwide, especially in the least developed countries and those in the developing world . As a result of the water pumping operated by Nestlé, the water table in the affected countries is sinking and wells are drying up.
In 2012, the documentary Bottled Life - Nestlé's Business with Water , which deals with the marketing of bottled drinking water, hit theaters. In it, the environmental activist and former UN chief advisor Maude Barlow described Nestlé as a “predator in search of the last clean water on earth”. In the Third World in particular , Nestlé would also work with corrupt governments and, for example, suck up groundwater from poor areas and then sell it for expensive money to the wealthy upper class. Nestlé describes its point of view on the company website, where it says that facts are mostly misrepresented in the film and that there is a lack of objectivity.
In January 2016, Nestlé was criticized in connection with the drinking water supply crisis in Flint (USA) and in May 2016 in connection with the funding of the campaign to exploit the Oxbow Springs in Oregon. In France, Nestlé has been criticized for lowering the water table by bottling Vittel .
In June 2015, the Indian Food Safety Authority (FSSAI) banned the sale of Maggi instant noodles because of too high a lead content. Nestlé recalled around 400 million packages and had them destroyed. The Indian government also sued for 95 million francs in damages. In August 2015, the Bombay High Court lifted the sales ban. Nestlé put Maggi instant noodles back on the market in November 2015. In November 2017, a court sentenced the Indian Nestlé subsidiary to a fine of the equivalent of $ 70,000.
In 2007, shareholders and responsible managers of the Nestlé Group were recognized by the Ethics & Economy ethecon foundation with the Black Planet Award for “outstanding responsibility in the destruction and ruin of our blue planet, leading to a black planet”.
Several critical Nestlé trade unionists were murdered in Colombia. In this context, on March 5, 2012, the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights ( ECCHR ) and Colombia's national trade union for workers in the food industry (Sinaltrainal) jointly filed criminal charges against the group management. You accuse the food company of having contributed to the murder of the Colombian trade unionist Luciano Romero . However, no criminal proceedings were opened by the competent public prosecutor's offices in the cantons of Canton Zug and Canton Vaud , against which the plaintiffs appealed to the Swiss Federal Criminal Court.
In January 2013, Nestlé and Securitas were sentenced by the Lausanne District Court for "unauthorized infiltration" at the globalization-critical organization Attac to pay two activists a compensation for pain and suffering of CHF 3,000 each. Nestlé had an Attac working group, which was working on a critical book about Nestlé, monitored from 2003 to 2005 by a mole from Securitas. The case was uncovered in June 2008 by the television station TSR on the program Temps Présent .
In 2015, a lawsuit was brought against Nestlé's subsidiary Purina in the US, alleging that it was responsible for killing 3,000 dogs through the use of inferior propylene glycol (“industrial grade”). Ethylene glycol was detected as an impurity , suggesting the typical course of the disease (gastric bleeding followed by kidney failure) in the animals. Propylene glycol as an additive in dry food creates a smooth structure in the flakes.
In June 2019, German Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner praised the group for reducing the salt, fat and sugar content of its food. In the video she performed with Nestlé's Germany boss, Marc-Aurel Boersch. The background is a so-called reduction and innovation strategy that the Federal Cabinet passed in 2019. This federal strategy will be taken into account in future recipes for Nestlé products. Klöckner and Nestlé were criticized for the action. Ultimately, Klöckner only shot a promotional video for Nestlé. However, according to marketing professor Sascha Raithel, the group itself benefits again from this - albeit negative - publicity. Nestlé succeeded in a PR coup.
In December 2019, Nestlé sold its US ice cream business to food manufacturer Froneri for $ 4 billion. Nestlé USA's ice cream business generated sales of $ 1.8 billion in 2018 with brands such as Häagen-Dazs, Drumstick and Outshine.
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