First known as Ralston Purina before it was purchased by Nestlé in 2001, this pet food manufacturer upholds a long tradition of animal food manufacturing backed by extensive nutritional research and science. With more than 20 brands of pet food and treats, Purina is driven by relentless innovation and a deep understanding of pets’ unique nutritional needs.
The company’s nutritional philosophy is encompassed by five major points: all dogs and cats should have access to high-quality nutrition; a thorough understanding of nutrients, “not just ingredients,” is essential to achieving overall health; constant innovation to improve nutrition, food safety and the well-being of pets; providing enjoyable and effective feeding experiences; and knowing that all pets needs are unique and their nutrition should reflect that.
Kurt Venator, chief veterinary officer at Purina, said one cornerstone of developing a pet food that is well-received by the pet and the owner is its functional benefits. This means developing nutritional solutions that address life stage or lifestyle challenges that could positively impact that pet’s quality of life and longevity. While nutrient balance and palatability are vitally important to the success of a product as well, Venator adds, so is employing experienced formulators, veterinary professionals and manufacturing experts that can consistently deliver on high-quality, safe product promises.
“Our job is to imagine the impossible and unleash the power of nutrition to help all pets live better, longer lives,” Venator said.
In the spirit of innovation, Purina invests heavily in the science behind nutrition, physiology and companion animal behavior and uses that knowledge to craft its pet diets. One of Purina’s recent scientific discoveries was of an egg ingredient that can be used to deliver antibodies to a common allergen found in cats’ saliva, called Fel d1, that can cause allergic reactions in humans. The antibodies prevent Fel d1 from triggering an allergic response without reducing the production of Fel d1 or changing the cat’s overall physiology, Venator explained. This discovery could pave the way for future approaches to mitigating cat allergens.
Purina is actively working to improve its sustainability efforts and wage a “war on waste.” The manufacturer says employee engagement, minimizing the production of waste at the source, and partnering with local vendors are three key areas of focus for its sustainability plan. Purina has undertaken the lofty goal of zero environmental impact throughout its operations, including zero waste for disposal across all 20 of its factories and its headquarters by 2020. As of April 2019, more than 75% of Purina’s facilities had achieved this, with the remaining facilities on track to eliminate waste by the end of the year.
Read other pet food and treat company profiles featured in our 2019 Resource Guide.