Nestlé Purina celebrates grand opening of new pet food factory

More than $450 million operation repurposed 80% of a former brewery's existing structure.

March 29, 2024

3 Min Read
Nestle Purina

North Carolina state officials, community partners and Nestlé Purina PetCare recently commemorated the official opening of the pet care company's newest pet food factory in Eden, North Carolina. The grand opening celebration is the culmination of more than three years of work to bring the more than $450 million operation to life and establish the first Nestlé manufacturing facility in the state.

"Demand for our products continues to grow and opening this new facility – our first manufacturing operation in North Carolina – allows us to better serve our consumers, particularly in the eastern and southeastern parts of the country," said Purina Chief Executive Officer Nina Leigh Krueger. "Our new factory in Eden is a huge step to continue meeting that growing demand, and the latest example of the continued investment being made across our U.S. manufacturing network. We're grateful for the support and partnership across the region, and are confident we're building a facility, and a passionate team, that will represent this community proudly for generations to come."

The new Purina factory in Eden has already created more than 300 new positions, with plans to add more personnel in the future. Between 2020 and 2025, Nestlé is on track to invest $2 billion in Purina's factory and capital expansion projects to enhance its manufacturing footprint. A 24th factory is currently under construction in Williamsburg Township, Ohio, and is expected to be fully operational in the next 12 months. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper recognized the significant investment and commitment from all parties to make the facility a reality.

"We continued to believe that the brewery in Eden could be used for a new manufacturer, and we are excited that with this grand opening Nestlé Purina is ready to make a new home in North Carolina with 300 new employees," said Gov. Cooper. "They will find here a well-trained, dedicated and diverse workforce along with support for their efforts to have this new plant embrace renewable energy and sustainability."

The grand opening celebration also featured North Carolina State Senator Phil Berger who spoke alongside several other Purina leaders including Chief Technical Officer Nolan Terry, Manufacturing Vice President Casey Hansen and Eden Factory Manager Will Steiner. Rockingham County Economic Development Director Leigh Cockram also spoke on behalf of the region.

"Factory of the future"

The new 1.3-million-square-foot Purina facility in Eden – which repurposes 80% of a former brewery's existing structure – features several modern technologies which transform and enhance the overall production process, including the first-ever vertical dryer installed in a Purina U.S. factory as well as automated systems in warehousing and the freezer space. The new facility also features a first-of-its-kind Manufacturing Experience Center, designed to introduce modern manufacturing to the next generation of workforce.

"We have been looking forward to this day for a very long time and are so grateful for the contributions of so many incredible associates who've been working hard to bring this factory to life" said Will Steiner, factory manager of the new Purina factory in Eden. "So much amazing collaboration has gone into this project, but what's most exciting is we can now really get to work and produce many of our pet food brands that pets love and owners trust. We have a great team in place to bring Purina's quality and safety standards to life in Eden."

Nestled on 1,350 acres extending to the Virginia state line, the new Purina factory in Eden, North Carolina, marks the 23rd Purina manufacturing operation in the U.S. Eden will operate as a zero waste for disposal facility. Across its manufacturing network, Purina is working to conserve water and achieve 100% renewable electricity at its factories by 2025.

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