Sunday, November 06, 2022

Farine lactée by Henri Nestlé

Henri Nestlé initially worked as a pharmacist’s assistant in Vevey between 1839 and 1843. His training in chemistry and his scientific background shaped his attitude and his future approach to business.

In 1867, Henri Nestlé, launches his ‘farine lactée’ (‘flour with milk’) in Vevey, Switzerland. It combines cow’s milk, wheat flour and sugar, and Nestlé develops it for consumption by infants who cannot be breastfed. The product was first used on a premature baby who could not tolerate his mother’s milk or other alternative products of that time.

Henri Nestlé invented this formula to combat the raging infant mortality prevalent at the time, in close cooperation with his friend Jean Balthasar Schnetzler, a Swiss naturalist.

Originally, Henri Nestlé bought the milk needed for his baby food each morning but by the summer of 1869, two years after launching the Farine Lactée this was no longer practical, so he decided to buy his supplies from a milk collection centre in a small village near Vevey, from where it was delivered to the factory.

Although Henry Nestle first steps towards the invention of milk chocolate was instead in the direction of infant nutrition, his greatest discovery paved the way for both. In 1867, Nestlé demonstrated for the first time a process to make powdered milk by evaporation.

Henri Nestlé retired in 1875, but the company, under new ownership, retained his name as Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé. He began as a pharmacist’s assistant but when he sold the company which bore his name at the age of 60 it was already an international success selling his famous milk-based baby food – Farine Lactée - across five continents.
Farine lactée by Henri Nestlé