USA – The Nestle Purina Petcare Co. has announced that it will invest more than US$450 million to transform a former Triad brewery into a factory that will produce dog and cat food.

The plant, which will occupy 1.3 million square feet of building space, will eventually employ 300 with an average wage of US$43,053.

The St. Louis-based company could receive almost US$50 million in state and local incentives to transform the former MillerCoors brewery in Eden if it meets employment and investment benchmarks.

The plant, which will occupy 1.3 million square feet of building space, will eventually employ 300 with an average wage of US$43,053.

Nestle Purina is buying the 1,365-acre property that straddles the North Carolina-Virginia border but the sale has not closed so terms were not available. It hopes to start operations at the facility in 2022.

The state of North Carolina approved US$24.6 in incentives for Nestle Purina, and Eden and Rockingham County will provide an additional $24.4 million.

Details of the incentive packages were not immediately available but will be contingent on Nestle Purina hitting benchmarks for investment and job creation. In the case of the state incentives, the company will need to meet a 90 percent minimum requirement for job creation, wages and investment in the property.

The company must also retain its current 23 N.C. employees to be eligible for the grants.

Nestle Purina also considered sites in Ohio, which offered a US$42 incentive package, and Kentucky, which offered US$40 million.

Nestle Purina has introduced the world’s first recyclable pouch for wet pet food, which it has committed to convert over to all its products by 2025.

Made of Polypropylene (PP), the pouch is lightweight, recyclable, and has high-heat resistant while equipped with “the appropriate product barrier properties”.

“We want to contribute to creating a world where pets and people can thrive, and initiatives like this support our goal of offering food that is good for pets, and the planet,” said Bernard Meunier, CEO at Nestle Purina Petcare in EMENA.

“This latest innovation on Felix pouch is a significant step forward in our drive to deliver recyclable or reusable packaging on all of our products by 2025,” he added.

According to the company, the packaging will be piloted for a year under the Felix brand in the Netherlands.

Besides creating recyclable pouches for wet food, Purina is also piloting reusable packaging systems where customers can use their own containers to fill with dry pet food.

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