ST. LOUIS — Nestlé Purina PetCare continues to invest in its pet food and treat manufacturing capabilities in the United States, most recently announcing a $550 million investment to construct a new plant in Williamsburg Township, Ohio.
The company announced this latest investment on Oct. 26. It is the second new pet food factory announcement for the company so far in 2020, and represents the first new facility to be built by Purina “from the ground up” in the United States since 1975.
"Purina is excited to be building two new factories in the US over the next few years,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, president of Purina. “This growth is a testament to strong consumer demand for our high-quality nutrition that helps pets live longer, healthier lives. 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."
The new plant in southwestern Ohio will produce Purina’s Pro Plan, ONE and Dog Chow brands of dry dog and cat food to help meet growing demand for its products. It will span 1.2 million square feet inside the South Afton Industrial Park in Williamsburg Township, employing more than 300 people by 2024. Operations are expected to begin in 2023.
"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."
Most new jobs created by the Purina plant will be professional staff positions, production operators, technical personnel and engineers.
"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 of manufacturing for 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."
Similar to its Eden, N.C. facility announced Sept. 30, Purina has pledged to incorporate several environmental initiatives during construction of its Ohio plant, with operations designed to support zero waste-to-landfill, as well as to recover and reuse heat and water. The company plans to use 100% renewable electricity throughout the facility as quickly as possible.
Purina’s goal is zero environmental impact in company operations by 2030.
"Commissioners invested in South Afton Industrial Park to provide the infrastructure and space where private business could create jobs for our residents,” said David Painter, president of the Clermont County Board of Commissioners. “Now, Nestlé Purina will invest over $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."
The news of the Ohio facility adds to a growing list of capital investments in Purina over the last five years. Nestlé Purina has committed $1.5 billion to improve various pet food, treat and product manufacturing operations in the United States since 2015.
Recent examples include a new wet pet food plant in Hartwell, Ga., which opened in November 2019 and cost $320 million; a $167 million investment to expand production capacity in Mechanicsburg, Penn.; and a $140 million investment in Clinton, Iowa to expand its dry dog food production. The company reported investing an additional $30 million to create 150 jobs in Clinton and Mechanicsburg.
Nestlé employs more than 3,300 people throughout the state of Ohio, in which is operates five other manufacturing plants in Solon, Marysville, Cleveland, Brecksville and Zanesville.
Read more about pet food processing on our Operations page.