I am sure many Singaporeans heard of Nestlé, having grown up with many of their household brands like Milo, Kit Kat, Maggie and Nescafe.
Beyond the shores of Singapore, what else do you know of the Nestlé brand?
Nestlé S.A. is actually a Swiss multinational nutritional and health-related consumer goods company headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland. It is the largest food company in the world measured by revenues.
Yes, the LARGEST.
They own many other brands beyond those you and I may be familiar with. Via wikipedia – Nestlé’s products include baby food, bottled water, breakfast cereals, coffee, confectionery, dairy products, ice cream, pet foods and snacks. 29 of Nestlé’s brands have annual sales of over 1 billion Swiss francs (about S$ 1.5 billion), including Nespresso, Nescafé, KitKat, Smarties, Nesquik, Stouffer’s, Vittel, and Maggi. Nestlé has around 450 factories, operates in 86 countries, and employs around 328,000 people. It is one of the main shareholders of L’Oréal, the world’s largest cosmetics company.
Yes, Nestlé also partially owns L’Oreal!
How do I know so much?
Well, last October, I have the honour of being invited by the Nestlé Singapore team to visit their headquarter in Vevey, Switzerland to learn more about the brand, their history as part of their Nestlé 100 years initiative in Singapore.
It was a pretty fantastic journey and I felt like little Charlie winning the Golden Ticket to visit Willy Wonka’s magical chocolate factory (we did visit a chocolate factory). This was my first trip to Switzerland and also my first trip to Europe, making it all the more exciting for me.
When we first arrived in Vevey after a long flight and train ride, we checked into Grand Hotel du Lac for the night.
Staying at the majestic Grand Hotel du Lac itself was an experience for me.
Exquisitely situated on the shores of the beautiful Lake Geneva, the five-star Grand Hotel du Lac is the best hotel in Vevey. The building was design by Ernest Burnat of Vevey in 1868 and was completely modernised in 2006 by Frenchman Pierre-Yves Rochon.
Many major Nestlé contracts, mergers and acquisitions were discussed or pass through Grand Hotel du Lac, hence making it all the more meaningful for us to stay here in our journey to experience the Nestlé story.
Upon checking in, the bed was so cosy I fell asleep almost immediately after doing a bit of exploring of my room:
The hotel stay came with complimentary breakfast, a travel card that allows you to take any public transport within Vevey for free and best of all, free wi-fi:
This is basically just an introductory post to a series of blog posts I will be putting up on my exploratory journey in Switzerland, discovering the brand that is Nestlé and the town of Vevey where it all started.
Stay tuned for more updates. 🙂