There is now an image of a cat.
And the background content is easier to read. The letters are straight and the background color is solid. I think it appears to a much younger audience who are looking for inexpensive cat food for their ‘fur babies’.
Purina (originally Ralston-Purina) traces its roots to 1894. Founder William H. Danforth established the animal feed company Purina Mills. Its predominant brand for each animal was generally referred to as “Chow”; “Purina Dog Chow”, “Purina Cat Chow”, “Purina Rabbit Chow”, “Purina Pig Chow”, and even “Purina Monkey Chow”.
Later, the company began producing cereal, which received endorsement by Webster Edgerly, founder of Ralstonism, to market Ralston breakfast cereals. Edgerly was at the time promoting the consumption of whole-grain cereal. These cereals became so successful that the name of the enterprise was changed in 1902 to the Ralston-Purina Company.
In 1986, Ralston Purina sold Purina Mills, its US animal feed business, to British Petroleum. Purina Mills is now owned by Land O’Lakes. In 1994, the Ralston “human food” operations of the Ralston Purina Company were spun off into a new company called Ralcorp Holdings.
In 1998, Ralston Purina spun off its international animal feed business as Agribrands which was acquired by Cargill in 2001. The animal feed businesses continue to use the Purina and Chow brands which Purina Mills and Cargill license for use in the US and internationally, respectively.
Merger with Nestlé
Ralston Purina became the subject of an acquisition bid by Swiss-based Nestlé, whose Friskies brand was the other leading US brand of pet food. Nestlé S.A. and Ralston Purina announced in January 2001 a definitive merger agreement. Under the agreement, Nestlé acquired all of Ralston Purina’s outstanding shares for US$33.50 per share in cash.
Both corporations saw this major strategic transaction as the ideal way to benefit from their combined know-how, complementary strengths, and international presence in the growing pet-care market. Several brands of pet food (e.g., “Meow Mix”) had to be divested separately to meet antitrust concerns. Purina brands are now made and marketed by a division of Nestlé (Nestlé Purina PetCare) which is still headquartered in St. Louis.
While primarily a pet-food company, Ralston Purina also made some other pet-related products, such as Tidy Cats brand and Yesterday’s News cat litter, which is made from recycled newspaper, purchased from Edward Lowe Industries in 1990. Also, Purina has honored several Canadian animals every year since 1968 in their Animal Hall of Fame.