To mark its 150th anniversary in 2016, Nestlé announced on 12 February that it will transform the buildings formerly belonging to the company's founder Henri Nestlé into a public visitors centre. “Visitors will meet and discover our company in the main building where they also learn about Nestlé's past, present and future,” said Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe in a statement. Nestlé's CEO Paul Bulcke added: “This new centre, located on Nestlé's original site, marks our historical roots in Vevey and Switzerland. From a small manufacturer of an innovative product, Nestlé has become, in 150 years, the world's leading nutrition, health and wellness company, employing more than 330,000 people worldwide. We are proud of our roots.”
The company said that the visitors centre will consist of a recreation and discovery area for families, consumers, employees and anyone interested in Nestlé, covering all aspects of the company. Special exhibitions are planned to present Nestlé's current and future activities, its role in society in general and its contribution to nutrition, health and wellness. Visitors will also learn about Nestlé's history and the company's archives.
The site called “Les Bosquets” is situated in the industrial zone behind the Vevey train station. The existing original buildings will be renovated, including the former factory, Henri Nestlé's administrative building “La Villa”, and the steel structure of the former bakery. A new glass structure will connect the historical buildings. It will serve as a welcome and recreation area connecting the exhibition sections, it will include a restaurant and will be open to the public. The glass roof will collect rain water to keep the building cool in summer. A solar installation is also planned. The new centre is a two-minute walk from the train station via a pedestrian zone.
The company said that the centre will open in 2016, when the Nestlé Group will celebrate 150 years since it was founded.