Nestlé Purina History
Nestlé Purina PetCare Company was formed in 2001, but its roots stretch back more than a century.
1875: The Nestlé Company was the brainchild of Swiss pharmacist Henri
Nestlé, who developed and marketed the first alternative source of infant
nutrition for mothers who were unable to breast feed. The company soon began manufacturing
milk chocolate, and many other products followed.
1902: Meanwhile in St. Louis, an animal feed company called the Robinson-Danforth
Commission was created. The name was eventually changed to Ralston Purina Company.
Seeking a distinctive logo for his company, Ralston Purina founder and president
William H. Danforth remembered a family from his childhood who dressed their children
in red and white checkerboard clothing. This striking image was the inspiration
for the Company's trademark checkerboard logo.
The 1920s saw Nestlé's first expansion beyond its traditional product line,
as the manufacture of chocolate became the Company's second most important activity.
New products appeared steadily, including Nescafe in 1938.
1956: Friskies dry cat food is offered for sale in the West by Carnation
1973: Carnation introduces Mighty Dog® in a handy single serving can.
1985: Nestlé entered the pet care business by acquiring Carnation.
Friskies®, Fancy Feast®, and Mighty Dog® brands became a part of the
Nestlé brand portfolio with this acquisition.
1995: Ralston Purina Company acquires the Golden Cat Corporation, the manufacturer
of the Tidy Cat® brand cat litter. In the same year, Nestlé acquires
the Alpo® brand.
2001: The merger of Nestlé's Friskies products and Ralston Purina's
products created a globally competitive leader in the pet care industry, and one
of the largest pet food companies in the United States.
Because of its legacy as a symbol that is recognizable around the world, the Purina
Checkerboard was retained and now appears on all Nestlé Purina PetCare products.
By joining Nestlé Purina you can become one of more than 14,000 associates
worldwide. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, we have 23 manufacturing facilities
in the U.S. and Canada.
Want to learn more? Read about Purina history on NestléPurina.com.