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History of Nestlé Canada
Henri Nestle collage of historical images


1867 - Pharmacist Henri Nestlé develops the world's first infant food in Vevey, Switzerland. Called Farine Lactée Nestlé, it saves the life of his neighbour's premature baby who could not tolerate breast milk.

1918 - Nestlé buys its first Canadian milk plant in Chesterville, Ontario and begins operation as The Maple Leaf Condensed Milk Company.

1922 - Nestlé Canada is officially incorporated.

1929 - Peter, Cailler, Kohler, the chocolate company founded by Daniel Peter, merges with Nestlé.

1930 - The Brazilian Coffee Institute asks Nestlé to develop new products to reduce Brazil's large surplus of coffee beans.

1935 - KIT KAT is launched in the UK as Chocolate Crisp.

1938 - After eight years of research, Nestlé invents the world's first powdered coffee. NESCAFÉ is made by simply adding hot water.

1943 - NESCAFÉ becomes a staple drink among American servicemen serving in World War ll. Annual NESCAFÉ production jumps to one million cases.

1947 - Nestlé acquires MAGGI Company, well known for its MAGGI bouillon cubes.

1952 - Nestlé Quik (later to be renamed NESQUIK) launches in Canada. The powdered chocolate drink instantly becomes a family favourite.

1966 - Nestlé introduces TASTER'S CHOICE Instant Coffee, which is freeze-dried to lock in freshness.

1974 - Nestlé diversified its portfolio outside of the food industry when it became a major shareholder in L’Oreal, one of the world’s leading makers of cosmetics.

1981 - STOUFFER'S Frozen Food joins Nestlé Canada. The brand traces its roots to 1922, when Abraham and Mahala Stouffer opened a small coffee shop in Cleveland featuring delicious home-made food.

1985 - Nestlé acquires the CARNATION Company. Its products include CARNATION Milk products, CARNATION COFFEE-MATE non-dairy creamer, CARNATION HOT COCOA MIX, CARNATION INSTANT BREAKFAST, and FRISKIES pet food products. Also, Hills Bros. and MJB Coffee join Nestlé Canada.

1987 - Dr. Ballard and Club Coffee join Nestlé Canada.

1988 - Nestlé acquires Rowntree Confections (TURTLES and AFTER EIGHT mints), Sunmark (maker of popular sugar confections such as SWEETARTS, NERDS, and WILLY WONKA products), and the Buitoni-Perugina Pasta Company, based in Italy. Rowntree Mackintosh joins Nestlé Canada.

1991 - Nestlé acquires The DRUMSTICK Company, makers of the original DRUMSTICK ice cream cone since 1928.

1992 - Nestlé acquires PERRIER, the famous bottled water company. Perrier family brands include VITTEL, ARROWHEAD, CALISTOGA, OASIS, DEER PARK, POLAND SPRINGS and ZEPHYRHILLS.

1994 - Nestlé Canada moves to a new Canadian home office in Toronto.

1995 - ALPO dog food joins Nestlé.

1996 - O-Pee-Chee Gum Company comes into the Nestlé family.

1997 - The Frozen Products Division (Ice Cream) of Ault Foods, and the Ice Cream Products Group of Dairyworld Foods join Nestlé Canada. Nestlé also acquires SAN PELLEGRINO, the Italian mineral water company.

2001 - Nestlé acquires Ralston PURINA and the pet care business becomes NESTLÉ PURINA PetCare.

2002 - Nestlé enters into a long-term trademark/technology license agreement with The Pillsbury Group for the use of the HÄAGEN-DAZS brand in North America. Also, the PERRIER VITTEL water business is re-named NESTLÉ WATERS.

2007 - Nestlé acquires GERBER, known for its infant products, and NOVARTIS Medical Nutrition.

2009 - VITALITY Foodservice Inc. joins Nestlé.

2010 - Nestlé acquires Kraft frozen pizza business in the U.S. and Canada which includes DELISSIO.

2012 - Nestlé acquires PFIZER Nutrition which in Canada includes MATERNA pre and post-natal multivitamins.

2018 - Nestlé acquires STARBUCKS retail operations in Canada. 

2019 - Nestlé's first KITKAT Chocolatory in North America opens in Toronto, Canada.

2021 - Nestlé continues strategic transformation of water business, agrees on sale of Nestlé Waters North America brands.