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Convinced that the search for good nutrition goes hand-in-hand with the benefits of mineral water, Nestlé acquired a 30% stake in Société Générale des Eaux Minérales de Vittel (SGEMV) in 1969. At the time, SGEMV was France's third largest mineral water company. In the 1970s, Nestlé strengthened its ties to water by acquiring several German springs via Rietenauer and Blaue Quellen AG.
Then it acquired a controlling interest in SGEMV in January 1992, and went on in May of the same year to buy out the entire Perrier Group.
Almost as soon as the Group was created, it started stepping up its development. It gradually became established in the rest of Europe and Asia, then in Latin America. Its American subsidiary already had a front seat in the United States.
The Group developed "Home & Office" there, a market segment still relatively unknown in Europe, which consists of delivering water coolers to homes and offices. The Group constantly innovates to support geographic expansion. In 1992, Nestlé was the first company to dare to launch a mineral water, Valvert, in five different countries at once. Its originality lied in the use of an all-new plastic, P.E.T. (polyethylene teraphthalate), which is stronger and more elastic than the PVC used since 1968. Besides, P.E.T. is recyclable.
The Group launched other innovative products as well: sparkling Quézac water and the sports cap first used in the United States, then in Europe. By the end of 1997, the Group was present on every continent and the acquisition of Sanpellegrino propelled it to the top of the Italian market.
The combined operations are forming to lay the foundation for Nestlé's long-term commitment in the bottled water field.
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