Purina is owned by Cargill, Inc. who proudly offers the Purina extended brand of feeds through its licensed subsidiaries outside the United States, in locations around the world, including Canada.
Today, Purina is one of the highest equity brands in Cargill’s brand portfolio. Produced and sold on three continents in 13 countries, Purina products are available through an extensive Purina dealer distribution network covering nearly 40,000 points of sales worldwide. Each day numerous horse people and horses enjoy the benefits of using Purina feed.
As the global leader in providing the highest quality animal feeds, we use the most professional distribution network to deliver innovative solutions through animal nutrition products, programs, and services.
For more information about Cargill Animal Nutrition, please visit http://www.cargillanimalnutrition.com/about.asp.
History of the Purina Brand
The Purina name began as a company brand which offered livestock nutrition and has evolved into a world class brand representing the importance of strong relationships and trust. The strength of this brand and what it stands for helped the former Ralston Purina Company (RPC) become the world’s largest manufacturer of balanced feeds for different animals. Another key contributor to company growth was use of scientific research to improve feed rations and farms throughout North America, South America and other countries of Europe and Asia.
When the company was founded in 1894 by Mr. William H. Danforth, in a forage store near the Mississippi riverfront, in St. Louis Missouri, agriculture was in its infancy. Feeding poultry, dairy cattle, pigs and other animals was not as scientifically based.
In 1905, a second mill started operating: East St. Louis, Illinois. By 1918, the third, fourth and fifth milling facilities had been established in Buffalo, New York, Nashville, Tennessee and Forth Worth, Texas.
In 1920, a new era began due to the introduction of research laboratories for the feed business. Gradually formula feeds came to represent much more than just a convenience for farmers; they became an economic need and a basic competency requirement.
By 1949, Purina had opened feed mills in fourteen other cities, from Montreal, Québec, Canada to Lubbock, Texas. A great contributor to Purina’s success has been the development and personal growth of employees. This commitment to partnering with employees, has resulted in very strong spirit of loyalty and engagement.
Danforth’s personal impact on Purina was personified by the 1902 slogan: Purina – Where Purity Is Paramount. That slogan, along with the now familiar Checkerboard logo, struck a strong chord with customers. The Purina® brand plays a special role among dealers and their employees who work closely with the Purina sales force and technical specialists to fulfill customer needs.
Mr. William H. Danforth was a talented businessman who was opening the way to a new industry, but he was also a religious man, with ethical principles setting the example in his own life by practicing the philosophy he preached.
He was not only a first-class salesperson, with great genius for promoting sales, but also demonstrated a strong interest in the personal growth of individuals.
Mr. Danforth and his partners were the first to understand the great value of trademarks and uniform packaging. In a time in which there were practically no uniform packaging, Purina was already sacking their feeds in attractive bright red and white checkerboard sacks.
A family anecdote from Danforth’s childhood was that he recalled a family whose members were always dressed in the same checkerboard-patterned cloth. The checkerboard shirts and dresses quickly identified everyone in the family and Danforth thought the same would happen with his company products.
The Checkerboard has become an icon and the time it has been in use is exceptional stretching from the time in which ads were simply voiced until the present time of television and Internet.
In 1932, Mr. Danforth resigned the presidency of Purina and his son, Donald Danforth took over the business. Donald contributed his talent to consolidating and managing the company, along with a firm confidence in the future of the feed industry as well as that of agriculture.
Under his active leadership, from 1932 to 1956, Purina experienced significant expansion.
What had been a fast-growing business until 1940 became dramatic expansion in the following years.
Currently, Purina brand is supported by research laboratories across its geographic service area and research programs are continuously being developed, in collaboration with other institutions. This research is about preparing products and feed plans to help animal owners achieve their goals.
The proud legacy of the Purina brand is clearly the result of the strong leadership of William H. Danforth whose influence lives on through his creed of Four-Fold Development and philosophies from his book I Dare You. This brand legacy continues today as Cargill employees continue to live up to this philosophy.
The Purina brand has earned the reputation of honoring partnerships built through relationships with employees, dealers, customers and academia. These relationships comprise the Purina Difference, which in turn has evolved into the brand promise of “Partnerships for Extraordinary Success.”
Until 1986, Purina pet food and animal feed divisions both were owned by Ralston Purina Company (RPC). In 1986, Ralston Purina sold its United States affiliate. Since that time, this business unit has gone through further changes in ownership. The international side of the feed business, Ralston Purina International (RPI), remained part of RPC. In 1998, RPI spun off of Ralston Purina to become an independent publicly held company listed on the NYSE under ‘AGX’. The new company was called Agribrands International, Inc., but Purina remained the feed brand in the areas of Agribrands operations. In 2001, Agribrands International agreed to acquisition by Cargill, Inc., which continued the Purina brand. That same year, RPC sold its pet food division to Nestlé S. A., the largest food and beverage company in the world. Purina became a pet food brand of Nestlé.