Helping our customers get quality pet food to households across the US

The arrival of Norfolk Southern railcars at Nestle Purina PetCare's new factory in Eden, North Carolina on April 25 represented a significant milestone for both of our companies. This news comes as pet ownership in the US has jumped significantly over the past three decades. According to the American Pet Products Association, 66 percent of US households (86.9 million homes) own a pet, an increase of 56 percent compared to 1988. Last year alone, Americans spent $147 billion on our pets – whether it was pet food, veterinary services, or other supplies – and in 2024, experts project a total of $150.6 billion in industry sales. Pet food and treats represent the most significant portion of consumer spending habits.

Nestle Purina has transformed a former brewery into a state-of-the-art manufacturing operation for multiple pet food lines. The new facility will create more than 300 jobs and represents a $450 million investment by the company. This underscores the company’s commitment to meeting the growing demand for pet food products with quality and innovation. And locating the facility adjacent to Norfolk Southern’s mainline underscores the importance of safe, reliable rail service to their suppl chain.

This collaboration exemplifies the power of partnership, driving progress not only in pet food delivery but also in sustainable practices. Nestle Purina is strategically aligned with Norfolk Southern when it comes to lowering our nation’s overall carbon footprint. The pet food leader is aiming for zero waste and all renewable electricity for this facility by 2025, not to mention the carbon emissions savings achieved shipping their feedstock ingredients by rail rather than truck. In North Carolina alone, customers have reduced their carbon footprint by approximately 66.5 percent shipping by rail – the equivalent of removing 1.4 million trucks from the highway.

From the track to the now bustling operations of the Eden facility to pet food bowls, Norfolk Southern is demonstrating our commitment to our customer’s success, one railcar at a time.