Nestle - Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Anyone who has been to the American Treasure Tour may recall the dozens and dozens of pedal cars that surround the other historic vehicles in our Toy Box.  Word is that the first miniature cars designed for kids came out very shortly after the bigger ones came out for their parents.  Today, we want to address one specific miniature car in the collection.  This one is actually run with a motor, which  means it might be a little dangerous for really young kids, but its size suggests it would not have fit someone too big.  Of course, you can see in the ad that this car is also advertising Nestle chocolate, and their popular Raisinets.  Let's talk a little bit about Nestle.

The first thing many people think of when they hear the name Nestle is chocolate; however, that isn't where the company started, and they have a lot more to them than just delectable sweets.  It all started in the 1860s when the Swiss Henri Nestle, whose background was in pharmaceuticals, developed his own gas lighting options, fertilizers, and then, significantly, powdered milk and infant formula.  Nestle and his wife never had their own kids, but they saw a way to help other families keep their children healthy.  In 1905, the company merged with the American-based Anglo-Swiss Milk Company.  These two former rivals became one company just in time to fulfill military dairy needs in World War I and increase profitability.  World War II hurt the company, and if it hadn't been for their development of Nescafe (Nestle Coffee), they could have been in serious trouble.  Fortunately for the company, American soldiers became somewhat addicted to their beverage.

Peacetime led to Nestle's diversification, and they bought outright or bought into numerous other companies.  They invested in the chocolate market their probably best known for today, as well as many others, including L'Oreal cosmetics.  They also took over Purina (the cat food company), San Pellegrino (bubbly water), Kit Kat (candy bars), Hot Pockets (microwaveable instant sandwiches) and, ironically we think, Jenny Craig (weight loss program).  Their efforts to buy out their biggest chocolate competitor, Hershey, fell through, but they did purchase Kraft Foods' frozen pizza company, Gerber, the baby food company, and many others.  Nestle acquired the Raisinet brand of chocolate-covered raisin in 1984. Currently, Nestle owns 8,000 different brands of products in a wide variety of categories.  They stand as one of the largest companies in the world based on revenue.
QUESTION:  In what year were Raisinets first introduced in America?
A)  1984
B)  1952
C)  1927
D)  1909

ALOHA HAWAII!  On this day in 1898, a ceremony occurred in Honolulu, Hawaii that was the cause for great celebration by some, great mourning by others.  The official flag of the Republic of Hawaii was lowered for the last time, and the flag of the United States of America was officially raised, as the island nation became a territory of the country that, over half a century later, would turn it into the 50th state.

QUOTE:  We are only going to be successful if what we are doing is creating value for society, too. - Paul Bulcke (CEO of the Nestle Corporation)

ANSWER:  C)  1927 - by the Blumenthal Chocolate Company