Consumer goods maker Nestlé (Thai) has launched a 5-billion-baht Nestlé Purina PetCare factory on the Amata industrial estate.
The plant's official opening in Rayong province marks a milestone for the company in producing high-quality wet pet food for the domestic and international markets.
It is also in line with global trends that have seen more families with pets. As a result, there has been a sharp increase in demand for premium pet food in Thailand and across the region.
Victor Seah, chairman and chief executive of Nestlé Indochina, said Rayong province was a strategic location for the new factory.
"Rayong is an ideal strategic location. Thailand offers easy access to high-quality raw materials and is logistically convenient to supply products across AOA [Asia, Oceania and Africa], especially the Asean region, which is an emerging market with tremendous potential for our pet care business," he said.
"With an investment of 5 billion baht, the new Purina factory reinforces Nestlé's long-term commitment to doing business in Thailand while creating quality job opportunities for the local community."
The new Rayong factory will increase Nestlé Purina PetCare's presence in the wet cat food single-serve product segment, a priority category for the company.
Jean Grunenwald, chief executive of Nestlé Purina PetCare Asia, Oceania and Africa, said the new factory would be the foundation for the company's wet cat single-serve food product line, both for the Thai market and across key markets in AOA, including Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
"The first country we are focusing on for exports is Japan, a major market very well known for its high standards and requirements for the best product quality," said Mr Grunenwald.
"Complying with exacting Japanese regulations and meeting the expectations of demanding Japanese consumers demonstrate the high quality of the products we make at the new Nestlé factory. Exports to Asean and other key markets will quickly follow throughout the rest of the year."
Advanced technology at the new Purina factory includes a fully automated system that features a high-speed filling line with products handled by robots, automated guided vehicle material handling, and high-speed robot multi-packers that can each finish more than 720 packs per minute.
Giuseppe Pasqualini, regional business head of Nestlé Purina PetCare in Asean, said the state-of-the-art equipment at the new plant will also take the firm's sustainability commitments seriously, including making all its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
The first Nestlé Purina PetCare factory opened in Thailand in 2010 on the Amata industrial estate. It produces dry dog and cat food.