Nestlé Purina PetCare announced a US$550 million investment to build a new factory in Williamsburg Township, Ohio, to meet increasing demand for its high-quality, nutritious pet foods.
The Williamsburg Township location will join Purina's network of 21 existing manufacturing locations across the United States and be the company's first new factory built from the ground up since 1975. This expansion is part of a broader growth plan for Purina and marks the second new factory Purina has announced in 2020 after the company revealed plans in late September to convert a former brewery into a new pet food factory in Eden, North Carolina.
"Purina is excited to be building two new factories in the U.S. over the next few years. This growth is a testament to strong consumer demand for our high-quality nutrition that helps pets live longer, healthier lives," said Nina Leigh Krueger, President, Purina. "Our new Ohio factory will build on our more than 90-year history of making science-based dog and cat foods that pet owners trust. We are grateful for the partnership at the state and local levels, and we're excited to call Clermont County home and support this great community for a long time."
"Close collaboration between JobsOhio, its local partners and the Development Services Agency were essential to attracting Purina's newest facility and 300 jobs to Ohio," said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. "Talented workers in Clermont County will manufacture Purina's most recognizable brands from the plant, which will play a critical role in Purina's global growth strategy."
Preliminary plans call for Purina to invest US$550 million to build its new factory in southwest Ohio and produce leading dry dog and cat food brands, including Purina Pro Plan, Purina ONE and Dog Chow. The 1.2 million-square-foot facility will sit in Williamsburg Township's South Afton Industrial Park. Purina plans to employ more than 300 people at its new factory location by 2024. Many of these jobs will include professional staff, production operators, technical staff and engineers. Construction will begin this fall, and the factory is expected to be operational in 2023.
"Clermont County is an excellent location for Purina's newest factory thanks to the region's distribution opportunities, a workforce with great potential and strong community values," said Nolan Terry, Vice President, Manufacturing, Purina. "We have a unique opportunity to bring all of our best technical and innovative manufacturing thinking under one roof as we construct this facility from the ground up."
The facility's design will be inspired by innovative Nestlé facilities around the globe and will be built to Purina's world-class quality and food safety standards. The facility will be Purina's most technologically advanced pet food factory, utilizing robotics and innovative digital tools and featuring a training center to promote learning and development.
While investing in its operations, Purina is committed to making pet care products in an environmentally responsible manner. Purina's new operations will be designed with sustainability at the forefront, including a commitment to send zero waste for disposal, and production processes designed to recover and reuse heat and water. Purina also is striving to make the facility 100 percent powered by renewable electricity in the shortest practical timeframe, while supporting the company's ambition for zero environmental impact in company operations by 2030.
Purina received proposals from state and local agencies, including Williamsburg Schools, Williamsburg Township and the Port Authority, with support from Clermont County Commissioners. This support provides the opportunity for Purina to expand its pet food operations while retaining and attracting top talent over the long term. The Ohio Development Services Agency approved a Job Creation Tax Credit to support the project.
"With today's announcement, Nestlé Purina PetCare is an incredibly welcome addition to the Cincinnati region's food manufacturing ecosystem, where we boast some of the other biggest brands in the country," said Kimm Lauterbach, REDI Cincinnati president and CEO. "More than 300 food and flavoring companies do business in the Cincinnati region, and Nestlé Purina PetCare is the most recent company to recognize its perfect fit for the company's US$550 million investment at the South Afton Industrial Park, a JobsOhio SiteOhio Authenticated site. I'm grateful for the work of our partners at JobsOhio, the Ohio Development Services Agency, Clermont County, Williamsburg Township, and Duke Energy that has supported this project and we look forward to watching Nestlé Purina PetCare grow and succeed in the Cincinnati region."
"Governments don't create jobs, businesses do," said David Painter, President of Clermont County Board of Commissioners. "Commissioners invested in South Afton Industrial Park to provide the infrastructure and space where private business could create jobs for our residents. Now, Nestlé Purina will invest over US$550 million in capital improvements at South Afton. Williamsburg Township and Williamsburg Village will benefit from income tax revenue. Williamsburg local school district will receive negotiated payments in lieu of taxes for coming decades. Clermont County will recoup its initial investment in South Afton. This is a win for Clermont County government, the Williamsburg area, Nestlé Purina and the residents of Clermont County."
Overall, Nestlé employs 3,300 people across the state of Ohio, with operations in Solon, Marysville, Cleveland, Brecksville and Zanesville, spanning Nestlé USA, Nestlé Professional, Nestlé Foodservice and Nestlé Purina operations.
The new factory announcement in Ohio is another step in Purina's continued growth that began last year in Hartwell, Georgia – the company's first new factory to open in 20 years – and continued last month with the announcement of plans to establish Purina's first manufacturing operation in North Carolina.
Located along the Virginia border, the new factory in Eden, North Carolina will revitalize a former brewery and transform it into an innovative, technically advanced pet food manufacturing facility scheduled to begin operations in 2022. Preliminary plans call for Purina to invest $450 million to renovate the existing structure in Rockingham County and produce leading dry dog and cat food brands, including Purina Pro Plan, Purina ONE and Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets. Purina plans to employ more than 300 people at the new 1.3 million square foot factory location by 2024.
The company has also committed to capital investments this year in Clinton, Iowa, and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, where additional investments of more than $30 million are creating another 150 jobs. In the last five years, Purina has invested $1.5 billion in its U.S. operations.
Key Facts for Nestlé Purina:
Total investment in this facility: an estimated US$550 million
Total investment across the U.S. in the last five years: $1.5 billion
Total square footage of Williamsburg Township facility: 1.2 million
Expected number of employees: 300 by 2024
While cat trends continue, the pandemic has added to overall slow-growth treatment of the cat food market.
Premiumization and humanization, as well as automation, fueled continued operation growth in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.