Nespresso Story is a story about the research and development team at Nestlé who created a simple but revolutionary concept during the 1970s. The idea was that anybody could make perfect espresso in their homes or offices similar to the cups served at the highest quality Italian coffee cafes.
Nespresso History and Timeline
Only handful of people know the real Nespresso Story. Before achieving success as a global leader in the industry, Nespresso went through many phases that helped shape and define the company we know today.
The Early Years: Introducing the First Machines
The founding Nespresso staff comprised just five employees. Once the company created their logo, they began testing their machines, coffee, and concept in select areas of Switzerland, Italy, and Japan. These initial test markets focused on the business sectors.
Nestlé SA introduced their first Nespresso machines between the years 1986 and 1994. The first machine designs included a handheld capsule holder, like the ones used by baristas that make traditional espresso.
Maximizing the customer coffee experience was always the goal of for the company’s business model. Although these early years involved lots of experimenting and mistakes, the first superior quality varieties of Nespresso capsules mirrored that objective.
1986 – Capriccio, Cosi, Decaffeinato, and Bolero are the first four flavors of the Grand Cru capsules.
1989 – The company introduced their Nespresso Club.
1991 – Household Nespresso systems launch throughout France and the United States.
Laying Out a Foundation
The Nespresso brand grew in popularity throughout Europe as the company established their customer base within the coffee community. By the late 1990s, their early success contributed to a financial milestone, a break-even point.
Nespresso reached new heights when Aerolux manufactured their first coffee machine for aviation purposes. In 1995 they installed this machine on Swissair to continue branding the business towards luxury and first class clientele.
1996 – To promote the brand and product line, Nespresso launched their first website offering coffee expertise to their customers.
1998 – Nestlé officially changed the name of their company to Nestlé Nespresso SA.
1999 – Nespresso launches a new commercial product line targeting small and medium sized businesses, high-class restaurants, and premium hotels.
After their financial breakthrough, Nespresso continually introduced new machines and Grand Cru coffees targeting both consumer and business markets. Before the turn of the century in 1998, Nespresso enhanced the existing website with an e-commerce platform allowing their customers to order machines and coffee online directly.
Nespresso gained recognition from coffee drinkers outside of the European markets, causing their growth and profits to rise. The profits were reinvested into the company as they continued on the path of innovation and customer convenience. In 2001, they released the first Limited Edition Grand Cru coffee. With each passing year, Nespresso reaches new customers across the globe.
For the first time, Nespresso developed an espresso machine that eliminates their manual capsule holder. Instead, the new machines have a mechanism that mimics the motion of an opening jaw to insert the capsule. The new and innovative design simplified the process and created a cleaner procedure than the earlier machines.
2000 – Nespresso opened their first concept store coffee boutique in Paris on the Rue du Scribe.
2001 – The springtime limited edition flavor is called Blue Batak from Sumatra.
2002 – To keep up with their growing brand, Nespresso opened their first production center, which operates in Orbe, Switzerland.
To improve the welfare of farmers, Nespresso collaborated with the Rainforest Alliance to achieve social responsibility. They formed the AAA Sustainable Quality Program, which guaranteed the production of high-quality coffee beside helping the farmers.
Nespresso officially launched their Essenza machine with a top loading capsule slot. All subsequent machines followed the influence of the Essenza concept, making it a milestone development for their product line.
In 2004 Nespresso’s Grand Cru coffee line extends to 12 total recipes. The recipe increase came after introducing the Lungo product range besides milk and iced coffee formulas.
Affecting Coffee Culture Worldwide
Nespresso’s foundation of high-quality coffee and machines established brand loyalty amongst their customer base and created sustainable success as a business. In 2009, they launched a program called Ecolaboration to reduce their carbon footprint on the environment, which involved the proper disposal and recycling of their capsules.
Nespresso Club members chose the actor, George Clooney, to be a brand ambassador for the company. The first advertising campaign with the actor was released in 2006. The following year Nespresso released their Latissima machine that included new technology including fresh milk and other specialty coffee recipes with a simple button system.
2007 – Nespresso opened their first flagship boutique in Paris on the Champs-Elysées.
2008 – A new facility opens in Avenches, Switzerland for production and distribution.
2011 – The Pixie machine is released, which is the company’s smallest and most energy efficient coffee maker.
Nespresso reached another milestone when they opened their 200th boutique in Shanghai. By the end of 2010, the boutique number grew to 215 worldwide as more shops opened in the major cities like Miami, Brussels, Sydney, New York, and Munich.
Becoming an Industry Leader
Nespresso achieved their goal to of sourcing 80% of their product from farmers in the Sustainable Quality Program and cut their carbon footprint by 20%.
The design team introduced the VertuoLine machine system designed for the North American markets where consumers prefer larger cups of coffee.
2012 – The first Nespresso boutique opens in San Francisco, marking the company’s west coast expansion in the United States.
2013 – Nespresso introduces the Nespresso Cube, which is a concept involving automated retail for customer personalization and an innovative shopping capability.
2014 – In Vienna, the first Nespresso Café opens, introducing a premium coffee shop experience.
Nespresso continued advancing their Grand Crus product line with three new decaffeinated products. The new decaf blends, Vivalto Lungo Decaffeinato, Volluto Decaffeinato, and Arpeggio Decaffeinato, match the fragrance of the most popular capsules.
Today, Nespresso is a global trendsetter and leader in the coffee industry. The company continues to strive for innovation and excellence with their coffee and machines.