Going to the Dogs

The future home of Purina’s new factory in Claremont County.

Purina plans new Ohio factory

By Terry Troy

Nestlé Purina PetCare is pumping a whopping $550 million into Ohio to build a new factory in Williamsburg Township near Cincinnati.

The Williamsburg Township location will join Purina’s network of 21 existing manufacturing locations across the United States and be the company’s first new factory built from the ground up since 1975.

This expansion is part of a broader growth plan for Purina and marks the second new factory Purina has announced in 2020 after the company revealed plans in late September to convert a former brewery into a new pet food factory in Eden, North Carolina.

“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,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, president, Purina. “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.”

“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.”

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine

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-square-foot 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. The factory is expected to be operational in 2023.

“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, Manufacturing, 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.”

The facility’s design will be inspired by innovative 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.

“With today’s announcement, Nestlé Purina Petcare is an incredibly welcome addition to the Cincinnati region’s food manufacturing ecosystem, where we boast some of the other biggest brands in the country,” said Kimm Lauterbach, REDI Cincinnati president and CEO. “More than 300 food and flavoring companies do business in the Cincinnati region, and Nestlé Purina Petcare is the most recent company to recognize its perfect fit for the company’s $550 million investment at the South Afton Industrial Park, a JobsOhio SiteOhio Authenticated site. I’m grateful for the work of our partners at JobsOhio, the Ohio Development Services Agency, Clermont County, Williamsburg Township, and Duke Energy that has supported this project and we look forward to watching Nestlé Purina Petcare grow and succeed in the Cincinnati region.”

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 operations.