Purina investing $450 Million in former Eden MillerCoors plant

Image via Global Food Properties

EDEN – Purina will invest $450 million to convert the long-dormant MillerCoors plant in Rockingham County to a dry dog food production facility. The project is expected to create 300 jobs with an average salary of $42,000 per year, according to Senate Leader Phil Berger’s press office. 

Sen. Berger (R-Eden) said, “This massive investment is a game-changer for the community I represent, where my home is and where I raised my kids. The old MillerCoors facility was dormant for years, and the new Purina operations will help replace the jobs and economic activity that was lost. I can’t emphasize enough how encouraging and positive this major investment is for our area.”

Headquartered in St. Louis, Mo, Purina has been a trusted name among U.S. pet owners for nearly a century. Its brands include Purina ONE, Pro Plan and Dog Chow and Tidy Cats. The company’s sales totaled $9.4 billion in the Americas in 2019, and it employs more than 8,000 workers across 21 U.S. production sites. Since 2001, Purina has been part of Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness based in Vevey, Switzerland. 

“Eden is Purina’s first manufacturing operation in North Carolina, and through this expansion we build on our more than 90-year history of making science-based dog and cat foods that pet owners trust,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, President, Nestlé Purina U.S. “Despite the challenging times we have all been living in, Purina has remained resilient. This strategic and long-term investment demonstrates our commitment to providing high-quality nutrition for pets. We’re thankful for the great partnership at the state and local levels, and we are excited to be a part of this community now and for many years to come.” 

Mark Richardson, Chairman of the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners, “We are ecstatic Nestlé Purina has chosen Eden and Rockingham County as their new manufacturing home. The news of their expansion into this property brings so much light and revitalization to our community. We are anxious to watch this site come back to life with new employees as well as tax base, but more importantly excited to see it occupied by such a well-known and respected company.”

The arrival of Nestlé Purina PetCare will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over the 12-year term of the grant, the project is estimated to grow North Carolina’s GDP by nearly $2 billion. Using a formula that takes into account new tax revenues generated by the 300 new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes a potential reimbursement to the company of up to $4.31 million over 12 years. State payments occur only after verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met incremental job creation and investment targets. 

Projects supported by JDIG must, by law, result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a recipient company. The provision ensures all North Carolina communities benefit from the JDIG program. Nestlé Purina’s Rockingham County operations are projected to generate $61.23 million in state tax revenue over the life of the grant.