Purina to Build $550M Pet Food Production Facility in Metro Cincinnati

The new Nestlé Purina PetCare facility in Williamsburg Township, Ohio is the second new factory the company announced in 2020.

WILLIAMSBURG TOWNSHIP, OHIO — Nestlé Purina PetCare (Purina), a subsidiary of the global Nestlé brand, plans to build a new 1.2 million-square-foot industrial facility in the Cincinnati suburb of Williamsburg Township. The St. Louis-based pet product manufacturer says its total investment in the facility will total $550 million and it will house more than 300 employees when fully operational.

Purina will produce its brands of dry dog and cat food at the new facility such as Purina Pro Plan, Purina ONE and Dog Chow. The property will adhere to the latest food safety and sustainability standards and utilize robotics and digital technology to maximize efficiency, according to Purina.

The new facility is situated within South Afton Industrial Park and represents the first ground-up facility for Purina since 1975. Construction will begin this fall and the factory is expected to be operational in 2023.

This is Purina’s second pet food production facility announced in 2020 as the company revealed last month its plans to convert a former brewery in Eden, N.C., into a 1.3 million-square-foot pet food factory. The new $450 million property will sit on the North Carolina-Virginia border and begin operations in 2022.

Construction will begin this fall, and the factory is expected to be operational in 2023.

“Purina is excited to be building two new factories in the U.S. over the next few years,” says 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.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says that the new production facility was a joint effort between multiple civic organizations, including Clermont County, Williamsburg Township, JobsOhio, REDI Cincinnati and the Ohio Development Services Agency, which approved a Job Creation Tax Credit to support the project.

Nolan Terry, Purina’s vice president of manufacturing, cites the available workforce in Clermont County and the region’s existing infrastructure as key reasons why the company chose Williamsburg Township for its latest venture. REDI Cincinnati’s president and CEO Kimm Lauterbach says that the Cincinnati region is a hub for the food services industry as it houses 300 food and food-flavoring companies.

The new southwest Ohio facility will join Purina’s portfolio of 21 existing manufacturing locations across the United States. Last year the company opened a factory in Hartwell, Ga., which was Purina’s first new food production facility to open in 20 years.

In the past five years, Purina has invested $1.5 billion in its facilities, including capital investments made this year at facilities in Iowa and Pennsylvania.

Nestlé purchased Purina in 2001 and merged it with its existing pet food division, Friskies PetCare Co. Overall, Nestlé employs 3,300 people across Ohio, with operations in Solon, Marysville, Cleveland, Brecksville and Zanesville, spanning its Nestlé USA, Nestlé Professional, Nestlé Foodservice and Purina divisions.

— John Nelson

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