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Nestlé history and formation of Oceania

Henri Nestlé gave his name to what is now the world’s largest food and beverage business, with over 270,000 employees, 376 factories in 81 countries and sales of more than $93 billion in 2023. In our region, Nestlé products have been available since the 1880s and by 1906 Australia had become Nestlé’s second largest export market.

The beginnings - 1867 - 1905

In 1867, at a time of high infant mortality, Henri Nestlé developed a milk-based food for babies unable to feed from their mothers. Within five years, Nestlé Milk was being sold around the world as a food for babies, old people and the infirm. Rapid development followed and Nestlé soon diversified into other areas with the introduction of a condensed milk product, followed by a move into the growing chocolate industry.

Although Henri bowed out of the Company in 1875, the name was retained and in 1905 it merged with the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company to form a dynamic new venture known simply as Nestlé. We have since then continued to develop through product innovation and acquisitions.

1906 - 1934

By 1906, Australia had become the second largest export market for Nestlé and was served by a network of sales agents. As it showed such tremendous potential, in 1908 we set up a business in Australia. Over the years a nationwide sales and distribution network was established.

The invention of Milo in 1934 stands out as a great Australian achievement - the product of Australian ingenuity and distinctive Nestlé technology. Nowadays, the brand is sold in 30 countries with worldwide sales of more than $550 million.

1999 to today

In 1999, Nestlé Australia's head office became headquarters for the Oceania Region, which includes Nestlé operations in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

We have been in New Zealand since 1885. Today, two manufacturing plants operate in New Zealand together with regional sales offices and a number of distribution centres. And since 1989, we have operated in the Pacific Islands.

Today, our employees throughout the Oceania Region are just as committed to providing good food for good living continuing the tradition that Henri Nestlé began more than 150 years ago.

Find out more about our rich history and passion for nutrition click here