Saturday, March 25, 2023

Ralston Purina Company

Just before the turn of the century, as financial panic gripped the country, William H. Danforth, just out of St. Louis University, was advised by his father to “get into a business that fills a need for lots of people—something they’ll need all year around in good and bad times.”

In 1894, Danforth founded the Robinson-Danforth Commission Company in St. Louis, featuring a new animal feed product made of corn, oats and molasses.

The checkerboard symbol was created by Danforth in 1894. In 1896, the Robinson-Danforth Commission Company was formed, and the little feed business was going full steam.

As the usage of houses on daily life decrease, food for houses product will decrease so the founder enters the human foods market in 1898 the human foods business with “Purina” brand whole-wheat breakfast cereals.
In 1902, teaming up with Dr. Ralston, a popular health-food advocate of the period, Danforth renamed the business the Ralston Purina Company. ‘Purina’ remained the coined word for their horse feed. In the same year, Mr. Danforth used red and white checkerboard for the company dresses. The Checkerboard trademark has since been used with a consistency unique in American business.

The name Ralston became part of the company name because of an association with a Dr. Ralston who had organized a national health club (Ralston Health Club) that claimed approximately 800,000 members.

In 1932 Donald Danforth was made President of the Ralston Purina Company. Wheat Chex was introduced in 1937 followed by Rice Chex cereals, in 1950. In 1957, the company moved from the animal feed market to the domestic dog food market with the introduction of Purina Dog Chow.

During the 1990’s and into 2000, Ralston Purina sold or spun off all of its non-petcare businesses. In 2001 Ralston Purina Company merges with NestlĂ© subsidiary. NestlĂ© Purina Pet Care Company is created.
Ralston Purina Company

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