In 1957, Nestle began trading and distributing its products in the Central and West African Region, starting in Ghana under the name 'Nestle's Products Ltd'. The Company then established its foothold in Nigeria and in CÃ´te dâ€™Ivoire in 1959, followed by Senegal in 1961, before spreading to neighboring countries.
The head office of the Nestle Central and West Africa (Nestle CWA) Region is based in Accra from where it oversees the management of the Company's operations and aligns the 22 countries of the Region with the Group's strategy.
Our corporate social responsibility
Creating Shared Value is the way we do business, which states that in order to create long-term value for shareholders; we must also create value for society. It goes beyond compliance and sustainability.
Innovating for the future
Research and Development is a key competitive advantage for Nestle. With 29 research, development and technology facilities worldwide, Nestle has the largest R&D network of any food company.
The key factor which drove the early history of the enterprise that would become the Nestle Company was Henri Nestlé’s search for a healthy, economical alternative to breastfeeding for mothers who could not feed their infants at the breast.
In the mid-1860s Nestle, a trained pharmacist, began experimenting with various combinations of cow's milk, wheat flour and sugar in an attempt to develop an alternative source of infant nutrition for mothers who were unable to breast feed. His ultimate goal was to help combat the problem of infant mortality due to malnutrition.
He called the new product Farine Lactee Henri Nestle. Nestle's first customer was a premature infant who could tolerate neither his mother's milk nor any of the conventional substitutes, and had been given up for lost by local physicians. People quickly recognized the value of the new product, after Nestle's new formula saved the child's life and within a few years, Farine Lactee Nestle was being marketed in much of Europe.
Henri Nestle also showed early understanding of the power of branding. He had adopted his own coat of arms as a trademark; in his German dialect, Nestle means 'little nest'. One of his agents suggested that the nest could be exchanged for the white cross of the Swiss flag. His response was firm: "I regret that I cannot allow you to change my nest for a Swiss cross .... I cannot have a different trademark in every country; anyone can make use of a cross, but no-one else may use my coat of arms."
Meanwhile, the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company, founded in 1866 by Americans Charles and George Page, broadened its product line in the mid-1870s to include cheese and infant formulas.The Nestle Company, which had been purchased from Henri Nestle by Jules Monnerat in 1874, responded by launching a condensed milk product of its own. The two companies remained fierce competitors until their merger in 1905.
Some other important firsts occurred during those years. In 1875 Vevey resident Daniel Peter figured out how to combine milk and cocoa powder to create milk chocolate. Peter, a friend and neighbor of Henri Nestle, started a company that quickly became the world's leading maker of chocolate and later merged with Nestle. In 1882 Swiss miller Julius Maggi created a food product utilizing legumes that was quick to prepare and easy to digest.
His instant pea and bean soups helped launch Maggi & Company. By the turn of the century, his company was producing not only powdered soups, but also bouillon cubes, and sauces and flavorings.