If necessity is mother of invention then profit may be mother necessity. As Great Depression gripped United States in 1930’s and coffee sales plummeted there was a definite need for coffee growers to find new ways to sell their product. Nescafe came to rescue.
In 1867 Henri Nestle, a German chemist living in Switzerland, had invented a baby formula for women who couldn’t nurse. By 1900 he had set up production facilities in several countries, including United States, where he also made condensed milk. Over next thirty years company expanded their products to include powered chocolate milk mix and other confectionary products.
In 1930 Brazilian government approached Nestle to create a new instant coffee that would give consumer another option and at same time increase dwindling coffee exports of Brazil. It took eight years but in 1938 Nestle introduced Nescafe.
Instant coffee was not a new idea; it was originally invented by a Japanese chemist named Satori Kato in 1901 and had been marketed and sold by various companies with disappointing results. Nescafe revolutionized way instant coffee was made.
Early methods of making instant coffee involved brewing a batch of high-strength, concentrated coffee and then boiling it dry in stainless steel drums; residue left behind was instant coffee. The heat involved in boiling process destroyed most of aromatic and flavorful properties of coffee. When reconstituted in water result was a pungent, bitter decoction that little resembled coffee.