Undercurrents: beneath the obvious

April 12, 2007

Nestle to buy Gerber for $5.5 billion

Filed under: Bottled Water,Great Lakes Issues,Michigan — nemo @ 11:42 am

From the Associated Press:

Nestle SA, the world’s biggest food and drink company, said Thursday it will buy Gerber Products Co. [Gerber is based in Fremont, Michigan] from pharmaceutical maker Novartis SA for $5.5 billion, giving it the largest share of the global baby food market.

The acquisition helps further Nestle’s recent focus on health and nutrition, following its purchases of the U.S. weight control company Jenny Craig and Novartis Medical Nutrition.

Nestle, which owns brands such as Nescafe, Perrier and Dreyer’s [and Ice Moountain], is also the world’s largest manufacturer of infant nutritional products — largely through its leading positions in developing countries such as Brazil and China — but had no presence in baby food in the United States.

Gerber, which Nestle has coveted for more than a decade, dominates the U.S. baby-food market, with a 79 percent share, according to Morgan Stanley.

With much controversy, Nestle pumps 270 million gallons of water a year from underground springs and from the city of Evart’s municipal water system. The company buys water from Evart and hauls it 40 miles south to its Stanwood bottling plant.

Gerber pumps 1,090 million gallons of water a year from the city of Fremont’s municipal water system — that’s FOUR times Nestle’s use — with nary a complaint.

Evart to the Stanwood bottling plant is 40 miles. Fremont to Stanwood is 35 miles. Map locations of Fremont and Stanwood are here.

Does 35 miles separate Nestle from all its problems? Will Ice Mountain become a brand of Gerber?

See also these prior posts:

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  1. […] One of the things I came home from Michigan with was a curiosity about a local brouhaha involving Nestle buying out the Gerber baby food plant in Fremont. This story peaked my interest not only because my Grampa used to work at Gerber, and my mother was […]

    Pingback by on those water wars « lorigami — July 8, 2009 @ 7:48 am | Reply

  2. […] when people at the luncheon after the service were talking about a brouhaha involving Nestle buying out the Gerber baby food plant, it really peaked my interest. This was more than the normal small business gets bought out by […]

    Pingback by SuperCute! » Water Wars — July 8, 2009 @ 8:05 am | Reply

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