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

Henri Nestlé

First Nestlé products to arrive in South Africa


First Nestlé products arrive in South Africa.


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.


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


Condensed milk and milk powders. Nespray manufactured in Standerton.


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


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.


Nestlé head office


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


Nestlé acquired US food giant Carnation.


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.




Nestlé Pure Life Logo


In 1998, 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 1998, 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.


July 2000 saw Nestlé SA acquire two local mineral water brands, Valvita and Schoonspruit. Under this agreement, Nestlé also acquired the Valvita and Schoonspruit water sources and the bottling plant at the Deep Water Estate in Gauteng. Valvita has since been re-launched as Nestlé Pure Life mineral water and is prominent within the retail sector.



n January 2002, Nestlé SA 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


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


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.


Potchefstroom Factory


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



Babelegi Factory


In August 2012 The 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.


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.