Nestlé Purina PetCare announced Oct. 26 a $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 site will join Purina's network of 21 existing manufacturing locations across the U.S. and will be the company's first new factory built from the ground up since 1975, the announcement said. This expansion is part of a broader growth plan for Purina and marks the second new factory the company has announced in 2020 after revealing plans in late September to convert a former brewery into a new pet food factory in Eden, N.C.
"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," Purina president Nina Leigh Krueger said. "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."
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said, "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. 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 $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 sq. ft. 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, the announcement said.
"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, Purina vice president, manufacturing. "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."
According to the announcement, the facility's design will be inspired by 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, the company said.
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.
The new factory announcement in Ohio is another step in Purina's continued growth that began last year in Hartwell, Ga. — 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.
The company has also committed to capital investments this year in Clinton, Iowa, and Mechanicsburg, Pa., 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.
Founded in 1894, Purina helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives by offering scientifically based nutritional innovations. Purina manufactures some of the world's most trusted and popular pet care products, including Purina ONE, Pro Plan, Fancy Feast and Tidy Cats.