American pet food and treats company Nestle Purina PetCare is committing $550 million to erect a new production plant in Williamsburg Township, OH to meet increasing demand, a company release said Monday. The announcement comes on the heels of another recent investment to renovate a former brewery into a new pet food factory in Eden, NC.
“Purina is excited to be building two new factories in the US 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,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, president of Purina, in a statement. “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.”
The 1.2 million-sq-ft facility in Williamsburg Township’s South Afton Industrial Park will manufacture dry dog and cat food brands, including Purina Pro Plan, Purina ONE and Dog Chow. Nestle Purina will hire 300 workers – including production staff, production operators, technical staff, and engineers – through 2024 as the facility becomes operational.
Nestle Purina said the facility will be its most technologically advanced pet food plant in its network, with features like robotics and innovative digital tools. A training center will also be built at the site for learning and development. In addition, the company is implementing a number of sustainability measures in the plant, including implementing production processes that can recover and reuse water and heat in the facility and using renewable electricity.
“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,” said Nolan Terry, vice president, manufacturing for Purina, in the release.
Work on the site is expected to commence this fall. Production will start at the site in 2023.