A HISTORY OF INNOVATION
Purina across the years
Since its inception, Purina has been a pioneer in nutritional innovations with the goal of helping dogs and cats live better, longer lives. The Purina we know today reflects the coming together of three established pet care businesses: Purina ®, Spillers ® and Friskies ®. Each has its own rich heritage of scientific breakthroughs and has played a vital role in establishing Purina as a global leader in pet nutrition. However, our work is just beginning. Our Research & Development team is committed to discovering the next innovation that harnesses the power of nutrition, improving the lives of pets and the people who love them
Purina is founded in St. Louis, Missouri, USA
William H. Danforth founds Purina in 1894. He initially produces feed for farm animals, but Danforth aims higher to build a company that will provide the best and purest nutrition for companion animals in a convenient, easy-to-use form.
First center dedicated to dog nutrition
Purina opens its research center in Gray Summit, Missouri. A scientific approach can now be taken to research a dog’s nutritional needs, supported by feeding studies and nutritional tests.
First extruded dog food
Purina is the first to apply extrusion technology to dog food, allowing ingredients to be properly cooked while enhancing nutritional quality, digestibility and taste. This creates a distinctively shaped and textured food known today as “kibble.”
First dry cat food with taurine
Purina is the first to add taurine, an essential amino acid for cats, to dry cat food. A deficiency in taurine can result in a number of conditions, most notably retinal degeneration and dilated cardiomyopathy. Cats require dietary taurine as they are unable to produce sufficient amounts naturally.
One year later Purina extends its extrusion technology to dry cat food
Purina sells the animal feed business and focuses on PET FOOD that becomes its Core Business.
Body Condition System is developed
Purina creates the first widely used and scientifically validated body condition score system. The tool provides a simple method for estimating body fat coverage and determining a pet’s optimal body condition, regardless of breed or body weight.
First and only veterinary prescribed gastrointestinal diet to use medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)
Some gastrointestinal conditions result in fat maldigestion and/or malabsorption. Knowing this, Purina uses MCTs, which are more easily digested and absorbed versus traditional fat sources
First veterinary prescribed hydrolyzed diet to nutritionally manage food allergies
Purina research shows that denaturing proteins through hydrolysis makes it less likely to trigger an immune response. The result is the first clinical diet using only hydrolyzed proteins for dogs with food allergies.
Purina is, in the same year, the first to formulate an over-the-counter diet using prebiotics to promote digestive health.
Purina establishes the world’s first and only Canine Reference Family DNA Distribution Center, providing assistance to top researchers mapping the canine genome.
First diet to manage feline diabetes with high protein and minimal carbohydrates
Purina’s work is revolutionary in addressing feline diabetes through a low carbohydrate, high protein diet. A clinical study showed that 89% of cats fed Purina’s diet had an overall reduction in insulin requirements, with 33% no longer needing insulin at all.
Purina is also the first to use fiber in cat food to help manage hairballs as part of a normal feeding routine. The fiber helps bind the hair entering the stomach when grooming, and safely transport it through and out of the digestive tract, reducing the incidence of hairballs.
Nestlé S.A. acquires Ralston Purina
After the acquisition of Friskies pet food in 1985 and Spillers Pet Foods in 1998, Nestlé expands its pet food holdings by acquiring Purina. The merger of these two global pet food companies creates a strong and complementary portfolio of products. The newly combined company brings together the unique scientific knowledge and expertise from both Nestlé and Purina to create one of the world’s leading scientific authorities in pet care.
First diet to apply nutrigenomics to help manage disease.
The expression of multiple genes is altered in osteoarthritis, resulting in inflammation and the production of destructive enzymes. Purina identifies specific amounts of omega-3 fatty acids to help improve mobility. Clinical research confirms the efficacy of this nutritional intervention through a reduction in lameness.
First diet to use colostrum to help support the natural defenses of puppies and kittens.
Purina scientists are the first to study and demonstrate the benefits of including colostrum in a pet’s diet. Research identifies that weaned puppies and kittens fed a diet supplemented with the bioactives in colostrum have strong, long-lasting local and systemic immunity. Results also demonstrate that colostrum promotes diversity and stability of gut microorganisms.
First cat diet proven to extend a mature cat’s healthy life
Purina develops a proprietary blend of nutrients (including prebiotics, omega-6 and 3 fatty acids, vitamin E and beta-carotene) that is scientifically proven to increase longevity. This nutrient blend also improves multiple health parameters in older cats, such as better weight maintenance, serum vitamin E levels, bone density and skin fold thickness.
First well dog diet clinically proven to improve canine cognitive function
Around age 7, the glucose metabolism in a dog’s brain begins to change, affecting cognitive function including memory, learning and decision-making. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) provide an alternative energy source for the aging brain. Purina research shows that feeding a diet with MCTs significantly enhances cognitive function in older dogs.
First diet clinically proven to maintain cognitive function in older cats
Purina scientists demonstrate that the cognitive function of middle-aged cats can be sustained by supplementing their diet with a proprietary blend of nutrients containing fish oil, B vitamins, antioxidants and arginine. When fed a diet formulated with this blend, cats displayed better memory and an enhanced ability to solve problems.
First diet clinically proven to help with the management of canine epilepsy
In Purina’s collaborative research with the Royal Veterinary College, London, dogs with idiopathic epilepsy were fed a diet with a proprietary blend of medium–chain triglycerides (MCTs) as an adjunct to veterinary therapy. In as little as 90 days, 14% of dogs on the study achieved complete freedom from seizures and another 71% showed a reduction in seizure frequency.
With a solid foundation of science, Purina launches the Purina Institute, a global professional organization with a mission to advance nutritional science to help pets live better, longer lives. The Purina Institute seeks to elevate the topic of pet nutrition with veterinarians to drive conversations with pet owners about the important role that scientifically-based nutrition plays in the overall health of their pets.?
We believe that when people and pets bond, life becomes richer. It’s a sentiment that has been part of our businesses through time and really brought to life through the PURINA® brand that William H. Danforth created in 1904.
This belief is now placed at the heart of everything we do and the products we make across the globe.
Purina’s Global Purpose is: Creating richer lives for pets and the people who love them. Our purpose builds on our heritage and our belief: When pets and people bond, life becomes richer #WeAreBetterWithPets It reflects our expertise and relates to the challenges of the world around us. It is a motivation which inspires our people everyday.
Our approach is to listen our stakeholders, understand what matters most to them, what questions they have and what areas they want Purina to focus on at both local and European level in order to be the number one trusted PetCare company around Europe.
Our people are at the heart of our business – everything we do, and our success, is dependent on them. Ensuring our employees are engaged, fairly remunerated and have the skills and knowledge not just to perform in their roles but to grow, develop and feel fulfilled is essential for us to prosper as a company. Our values are rooted in respect: respect for ourselves, respect for others, respect for diversity and respect for the future. Key attributes which define our employment experience are:
A fulfilling work environment
Personal and professional growth.
Curious and agile
Where we make an impact
INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES and PETS
Enabling healthier and happier lives
Every pet owner wants their pet to enjoy a long, healthy and happy life. As a leading PetCare Company, we constantly strive to rise the standards of pet nutrition, health and well-being.
Helping develop thriving, resilient communities
As we believe the pet-human bond offers many benefits, we work every day to champion the role of pets in the society, building tangible solutions to create richer lives for pets and the people who love them
Stewarding resources for future generations
In collaboration with our partners and stakeholders, we are working towards achieving sustainable use of natural Resources and zero environmental impact in our operations.
At Purina we enjoy being part of the community. We champion many great initiatives for and with our local people. We are proud to work with and support organisations to reinforce the pet-human bond.
Harnessing the power of the pet-human bond as a force for good
During 2019/20 we did some extensive research into the pet-human bond which helped us to further understand the extent to which pets have a positive impact on people’s lives.
Health: Pets contribute to keeping people in good physical and mental health
Communities: Pets foster social inclusiveness and alleviate loneliness
Education: Pets contribute to essential skills development and a good learning environment
Cost-effectiveness: Pet-friendly policies contribute to reducing healthcare and social costs making it an effective policy intervention
Supporting the pet-human bond through animal-assisted activities, interventions and therapy
The impact of pets upon human physiology can have a positive benefit to human health. These benefits can also extend beyond the beneficiary to the animal handler, the therapist and importantly also to the animal. As part of our wider leadership role in promoting the role of pets in society, Purina are proud to be working with and supporting organisations in this pioneering area.
How our factories play a role in our communities
Across Europe our offices and factories work on many programmes delivered by our colleagues and trusted partners to address the things that matter to our local communities. In addition to the specific Purina in Society Commitments, these programmes include: supporting charity partner activities and community events or opening our factory doors to local government, vets, retailers, media, social influencers, and consumer organisations.
Stewarding resources for future generations
To grow sustainably we must use the planet’s resources wisely as well as use our global presence to help others make a positive difference. Purina’s approach to managing environmental sustainability operates within the Nestlé framework for Sustainability and Creating Shared Value (CSV).
Here we illustrate some successes of Purina’s factories across Europe.
Our core value: respect
At Purina, as well as Nestlé, we work with passion, build for the long term and are inspired to innovate, always striving to do better, to grow and succeed together. All this is achievable thanks to our deep-rooted understanding of the importance of respect.
To ensure that respect is at the core of everything we do, we created a workshop and materials for sharing with managers and their teams across our business to enable all to participate in discussions on how to bring this to life.
During these sessions, colleagues also had the opportunity to train on active listening, how best to give feedback and manage different aspects of group thinking.
Start-up expeditions: shaping future business models and industry
We have enabled our leaders to become even more agile and curious by creating opportunities for them to interact with start-ups and entrepreneurs who are disrupting traditional business models across every type of industry, including ours.
In 2018, we launched a series of ‘expeditions’ across Europe where our senior management teams had the opportunity to learn more directly from entrepreneurs, understand how they operate and make recommendations on which potential businesses Purina could invest in and incubate. Over 100 Purina leaders took part in nine expeditions, meeting more than 50 pet care start-ups.
As a result of their feedback, we will run incubation programmes during 2019 to explore the feasibility of several projects that we hope will ultimately support pet lovers to care for their pets in new and exciting ways.