Lupe, a Plott Hound-Dachshund mix, poses in front of the future home of Nestlé Purina PetCare’s 23rd U.S. manufacturing facility, slated to begin operating in Williamsburg Township, Ohio in 2023.

Nestlé Purina PetCare has plans to build a new factory in Williamsburg Township, Ohio, officials reported in late October. The $550 million investment will help meet increasing demand for its high-quality, nutritious pet foods, officials said.

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, N.C.

“Purina is excited to be building two new factories in the U.S. over the next few years,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, president of Purina, which is headquartered in St. Louis. “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.”

Preliminary plans call for Purina to invest $550 million to build its new factory in southwest Ohio and produce 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 officials said that they plan 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, officials said. Construction will begin this fall, and the factory is expected to be operational in 2023, officials added.

“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 at 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, according to officials. 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, officials said.

While investing in its operations, Purina officials said that they are committed to making pet care products in an environmentally responsible manner. Purina’s new operations will be designed with sustainability at the forefront, including a commitment to send zero waste for disposal, and production processes designed to recover and reuse heat and water, officials said. Purina also is striving to make the facility 100 percent powered by renewable electricity in the shortest practical timeframe, while supporting the company’s ambition for zero environmental impact in company operations by 2030, officials added.

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.

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