Saturday, March 3, 2012

Nestlé Celebrates 100 Years in Singapore

Nestle Managing Director, Mr. Valerio Nannini, met with bloggers at a special event held at the Children Little Museum

Nestlé - it's a name we all know, and it feels like they've been in our lives and our parents' lives for longer than we remember. And actually, they have - 100 years to be exact. This year marks their 100th anniversary in Singapore.

Old Nestle Ads
Images courtesy of Nestlé Historical Archives, Vevey.

We all grew up with names like Nescafe, Milo, Maggi, Nespray, and more recently Kit Kat. Here are some of Nestlé's old ads from as far back as the 1940s. Your grandparents might remember these.

As part of the celebrations, Nestlé brought social media influencers to the very retro Children Little Museum at 42 Bussorah Street. Managing Director Valerio Nannini (above in first photo) very sportingly joined us for a look at how we once lived and played in Singapore.

The Children Little Museum is at 42 Bussorah Street
If you've never been here, it's worth a visit.

A treasure trove of vintage knick knacks
This place is a treasure trove of vintage knick knacks and lost treasures.

Retro milk bottles and tins
Babies back in those days had various kinds of milk products, including condensed milk. Remember Milkmaid? We used to make "tin can telephones" from the tins that we cleaned.

Memories from the '60s
Well-preserved memories from the 1960s - I reckon film must have been expensive then, and not everyone could afford to take photos. How lucky we are today to just snap away digitally without regard for cost per photo.

Vintage tricycles
Vintage tricycles line the upper storey walls.

Ice kachang stall of old
Roadside stalls selling ice kachang or rather ABC in those days - air batu campur (an ice ball with mixed syrups and beans), drinks, kachang puteh and the like. I wish we still had these.

Remember these textbooks?
They have so much paraphernalia here from the 70s and 80s too. School books, stationery, uniforms, musical instruments, and collectibles.

Corner shop of toys - we should all have this in our neighbourhoods
Corner shop of toys - we should all have this in our neighbourhoods.

More toys from the back of behind. These are so much more meaningful than the mass produced merchandise we have today (OK, with the exception of Star Wars lightsabers).

Toys from yesteryear
Toys from yesteryear tended to be simple, inexpensive and very often self-made too.

We had two youngsters teaching us how to make retro toys
In fact, during this event, we got a hands-on workshop on how to make some of these toys.

The self-balancing pyramid - you can make this easily from chopsticks, rubber bands and marbles
Toys such as the amazing self-balancing pyramid. All you need are some disposable chopsticks, rubber bands and marbles. It really balances on its own. You can even put it on the tip of your nose and it will stand.

The miraculous balancing pyramid
Give it a try. You might learn a thing or two about Physics (but Angry Birds will teach you that too!).

We played fivestones
Anyone remember Five Stones? I am pretty hopeless at hand-eye coordination and matters of dexterity. Which also means I couldn't play chapteh to save my life either.

They taught us how to make kites
We also learned how to make kites. The fun part is painting them! Because you get to make a mess!

My Kite
See what I mean? Messy!

I brought this home and the kids went bananas. Kite-flying is a great way to get them to run around and exercise too.

Our pretty "cafe assistant"!
But Nestlé isn't just looking back in nostalgia at its 100th birthday in Singapore. They are going to make 100 wishes come true! Submit your wish at their website -

Wishes should reflect the "Good Food, Good Life" theme, but doesn't have to revolve around food. What would you wish for? A celebrity chef to come cook for your family, as a surprise? A new wheelchair for an elderly or handicapped neighbour?

I'm going to wish for a Milo or Kit Kat garden party for the special needs kids at Rainbow Centre!

Check out Nestlé's 100 Years exhibitions also coming up at these locations:
  • 24 & 25 March - Marina Square Shopping Centre main atrium (level 1)
  • 7 & 8 April - Ang Mo Kio Hub exhibition area (basement 1)

You might have seen some of the 100th anniversary bus ads too.

Nestle Bus Ad
I just happened to snap these today while in a cab!

I love the old ads. They are so beautiful.

What's your favourite Nestlé product that you wish will stay on for another 100 years? Fortunately, they have come up with new products too, like the Dolce Gusto Piccolo and Circcolo single serve coffee machines.

Nestle launched the Dolce Gusto Piccolo and the Circcolo

I wonder if people in 2112 will look back and wonder what life was like in 2012. "Oh my god, so retro!" or "How quaint, they used keyboards for input back then!" or "Wow, paper magazines! We don't see that anymore!" Who knows?


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