On this day, August 10 in the year 1814, the inventor of the infant cereal was born in Frankfurt, Germany. His name was Henri Nestle, the founder of the world’s largest food and beverage company that bears his name.
Henri Nestle was the eleventh of fourteen children of a family who inherited a tradition in the glassmaking business. The family also belonged to a clan that produced several mayors of Frankfurt. At 17, Nestle worked as an apprentice in a pharmacy where he learned how to concoct medicines. Later, he migrated and settled in Vevey, Switzerland where he initially engaged in the production of rapeseeds. Later, he began to manufacture and sell carbonated water, lemonade, gas lighting, and fertilizer.
In the 1860s, Nestle experimented on baby foods as he witnessed the high infant mortality at that time. In 1867, he produced his first powdered milk. Later, he developed a milk-based baby food that became very popular for mothers who were unable to breastfeed their children. The product was sold all over Europe and later exported to the United States.
In 1875, Henri Nestle retired and sold his company but the new owners retained his name in the company’s official name. At present, Nestle S. A. is the world’s largest manufacturer of foods and beverages with almost 500 factories spread all over the world. It is the leading producer of milk products, chocolates, infant food, and coffee.
Nestle died of heart attack in 1890. He was married but childless.