In the early 20th century, industry endeavoured to improve the preservation and packaging of food to meet the needs of modern society. Thus, 1911 saw the first portions of processed cheese produced by Gerber & Stettler of Thun, Switzerland. As processed cheese is more consistent than traditional cheese and very practical too, it soon attracted interest from the dairy products industry. The Nestlé & Anglo Swiss Condensed Milk Co. sought to diversify its product range and so began selling Gerber processed cheese from 1927 and also began to produce its own processed cheese, as illustrated by the Museum’s tin of Swiss Petit Gruyère Cheese.
Nestle South Africa Ltd., operative since 1927, marketed this particular tin, thereby illustrating the importance Nestlé gave to worldwide distribution of products that were made in Switzerland. The bucolic image of Switzerland printed on the tin established this country as a label of quality.