Mead Johnson

Mead Johnson Nutrition Company
Traded as NYSE: MJN
S&P 500 Component
Industry Pediatric nutrition
Founded 1905
Headquarters Glenview, Illinois
(Corporate Headquarters)
Evansville, Indiana
(Global Operations Center)
Key people
James M. Cornelius
Chairman of the Board
Kasper Jakobsen
President and Chief Executive Officer
Number of employees
5,600 (2010)
Website Mead Johnson Nutrition

Mead Johnson Nutrition Company is a major manufacturer of infant formula both domestically and globally with its flagship product Enfamil. The company dates back to a firm created by Edward Mead Johnson, one of the co-founders of Johnson & Johnson, who created his own business in 1895, which was renamed Mead Johnson & Company in 1905. The company was majority owned by Bristol-Myers Squibb after an acquisition in 1967, but was spun off in 2009 as an independent firm.

The company had global sales of $2.83 billion in 2009, with two-thirds of its revenue coming from outside the United States, where declining birth rates have led to a reduced market share. The company is gaining a presence in such emerging markets as the People's Republic of China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam and is also starting to develop a presence in India. Enfamil, the company's flagship brand, commanded 11.7% of the $22.3 billion market for infant formula worldwide in 2008.[1]

History and products

Dextri-Maltose and Pablum, early Mead Johnson products

Edward Mead Johnson had founded Johnson & Johnson in 1886 together with his brothers. In 1895, Johnson developed a side business called The American Ferment Company to create a digestive aid. In 1897, E. Mead Johnson left the family business to go out into business on his own in Jersey City, New Jersey, and in 1905, the company was re-established as Mead Johnson & Company.[2] The firm's first major infant formula was developed in 1910, and Dextri-Maltose, a carbohydrate-based milk modifier was introduced in 1911, making it the first American product for infants to be clinically approved and recommended by doctors. The firm moved to Evansville, Indiana, in 1915, in the wake of World War I, as part of an effort to have easier access to the raw agricultural ingredients that were needed for its products, which required Johnson to build a series of new plants and factories to replace the ones he had left behind in New Jersey.[2]

C. Joseph Genster was the group director for nutritional specialties, which launched the Metrecal protein-based liquid diet product for adults in September 1959.[3] Originally the product came as a powder which was mixed with water and contained powdered skim milk, soybean flour and corn oil and was fortified with vitamins and minerals, a formula that included more protein than other diet products. The Metrecal diet plan had people consume four self-prepared shakes (or portion-controlled cans) of Metrecal a day, with each can providing 225 calories.[4] The 900-calorie-a-day diet helped many lose weight and the product became a diet craze in the early 1960s in the U.S.[5] By the mid-1970s the Metrecal fad had faded and a Food and Drug Administration call to remove liquid protein-based products from store shelves put an end to the phenomenon.[6]

Edward Mead Johnson died in 1934, and Lambert Mead Johnson succeeded his father as president, and served in the position until 1955, making him the longest-serving president in company history.[2] D. Mead Johnson was the third generation of the family to serve as chief executive of the firm. During his tenure, which lasted from 1955 until the firm's takeover by Bristol-Myers in 1968, the firm's annual sales tripled to $131 million, and grew to nearly 4,400 employees.[7]

Acquisition and spin-off from Bristol-Myers

Bristol-Myers reached agreement in August 1967 for a deal under which Mead Johnson would be acquired, with shareholders receiving a mix of common and preferred stock in a deal valued at $240 million. Mead Johnson's net sales in 1966 were $131 million with earnings of $7.3 million.[8]

Bristol-Myers announced in February 2009 that it was going to spin off Mead Johnson to focus on its primary pharmaceutics business, with an initial public offering estimated to bring in $562.5 million and would leave Bristol-Myers with 90% ownership of the firm.[9] A plan offered in November 2009 would allow shareholders of Bristol-Myers to exchange one dollar of stock in that company for $1.11 worth of shares in Mead Johnson for the 133.5 million shares in the firm, which would value the company at $7.7 billion based on the stock's then current closing price. The stock swap was intended to provide a tax-free exchange. CEO James M. Cornelius of Bristol-Myers said that "With a successful execution of this split-off, we fully consider ourselves a BioPharma company".[10]


  1. Dorfman, Brad. "Baby, look at Mead Johnson now", Reuters, March 1, 2010. Accessed September 1, 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 Our History, Mead Johnson & Company. Accessed September 1, 2010.
  3. Martin, Douglas. "C. Joseph Genster, Marketer of Metrecal, Dies at 92", The New York Times, August 26, 2010. Accessed September 1, 2010.
  4. Owen, June. "Food News: Latest Rage For Dieters", The New York Times, September 20, 1960. Accessed August 31, 2010.
  5. Staff. "AMERICANA: The Theory of Weightlessness", Time (magazine), November 21, 1960. Accessed August 31, 2010.
  6. Kleinfeld, N. R. "THE EVER-FATTER BUSINESS OF THINNESS", The New York Times, September 7, 1986. Accessed August 31, 2010.
  7. Saxon, Wolfgang. "D. M. Johnson, 78; Led Mead Johnson In Rapid Expansion", The New York Times, January 23, 1993. Accessed September 1, 2010.
  8. Reckert, Clare M. "Exchange of Stock Set; MERGER DEAL SET BY BRISTOL-MYERS", The New York Times, August 25, 1967. Accessed September 1, 2010.
  9. Staff. "Mead Johnson Set to Test I.P.O. Waters", The New York Times, February 10, 2009. Accessed September 1, 2010.
  10. Staff. "Bristol-Myers to Split Off Mead Johnson Nutrition", The New York Times, November 16, 2009. Accessed September 1, 2010.

External links

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