Gerber's history & heritage

In 1867, Henri Nestlé, a pharmacist, was asked to look in on a neighbor’s child who couldn’t breastfeed. The baby thrived on the special mixture Henri created. Soon, Nestlé’s innovation—the world’s first infant food—was being sold throughout Europe, and the first infant food company, Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé, was launched.

Gerber Products Company also began with attention to one baby. Following the advice of her pediatrician in the summer of 1927, Dorothy Gerber started straining solid foods for her 7-month-old daughter Sally. After repeating this process many times, Mrs. Gerber suggested her husband try it. She watched Dan make several attempts, and then he pointed out that the work of straining fruits and vegetables could be easily done at their canning business, based in Fremont, Michigan. Workers in the plant began requesting samples for their own babies, and the legacy of Gerber® baby foods began.

FITS Study Infant NutritionFITS Study Infant Nutrition

Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS)

Nestlé and Gerber are committed to improving infant and child nutrition through innovation backed by solid research. One of the most notable research efforts is the Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS), an ongoing initiative for the past 17 years to better understand the state of young children's diets and related behaviors. Nearly 10,000 parents and caregivers have been surveyed across three studies in the U.S., with more than 50 peer-reviewed publications to date.[H2] Gerber Nutrition Journey origins


As a result of the 2002 FITS study, Gerber developed a program to help children start and stay healthy. When Gerber joined the Nestlé family in 2007, the Gerber Nutrition Journey was created to take advantage of the combined research, knowledge and expertise of both companies. The system is an innovative approach that helps you choose the right nutrition for your child based on her stage of development. Gerber offers this unique stage-based system with specific products, feeding and nutrition guidance, tools and services to support healthy growth and development and encourage the development of healthy eating habits for children from birth to 4 years.

Find out more about our research and practices.