PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 15

PLANT PROFILE

Tuffy's Pet Foods, a high quality manufacturer of dry pet
foods and treats, has invested heavily in its production
facilities over the past nine years with no end in sight.
By Jennifer Semple | jsemple@sosland.com

W

What could have ended nicely several decades ago as a
successful business venture for the Nelson family, grew
- after some last-minute negotiations - into a win for
the entire community of Perham, Minnesota. Today,
with deep roots and a sprawling manufacturing campus
in Perham, Tuffy's Pet Foods, Inc. is a third-generation
family-owned and operated company seeing continued
growth and success after 55 years in business.
The company, which was started by Darrell "Tuffy"
Nelson in 1964 in a single facility with 13 employees,
now employs 290 and has invested more than $150 million just since 2010 into the company's 16-acre campus
with 600,000-sq.-ft. of processing, packaging and warehousing space. But this growth and substantial investment almost didn't happen in Perham.
After several years of running the successful pet food
business, Tuffy Nelson decided to semi-retire and sold
the business. Although the pet food business continued
operations in Perham, it changed hands a few times and
in 2001 the current owners decided to close the Perham
plant, potentially leaving roughly 150 employees jobless
and leaving the town with a shuttered processing facility.
"Tuffy Nelson's son, Kenny, had been running successful salty snack and candy manufacturing businesses
in Perham during this time and the family, being very
community-minded, didn't want to see Tuffy's Pet Foods
close," explains Chase Rasmussen, vice president for
Tuffy's. "So, in what some describe as eleventh-hour negotiations, Kenny bought the company back sight unseen."
At about that same time in 2001, Kenny's son, Charlie,
joined the family business, KLN Family Brands. Charlie
took an interest in pet food production and helped develop the company's flagship brand, NutriSource, which

has helped drive the level of success the pet food company
enjoys today.
Tuffy's produces more than 150,000 tons of dry pet
food annually. The company manufactures NutriSource,
PureVita and Natural Planet diets sold exclusively in
the independent pet specialty retail space, as well as
Supreme, Tuffy's and the Tuffy's Gold brands which
are primarily sold regionally in grocery outlets and
feed stores. The company's six branded product lines of
complete-and-balanced pet diets and treats for dogs and
cats include dry food, wet food, baked food, jerky, semimoist treats and freeze-dried treats.
Tuffy's manufactures dry pet foods and semi-moist
treats. The company co-manufactures for some other
well-known national brands but the majority of production, approximately 60%, is for company-owned brands.
According to Tuffy's, 93.5% of revenue currently comes
from dry pet food sales with 6.5% of revenue coming
from pet treats, biscuits and canned food. Nearly all,
94%, of revenue is from what the company considers domestic sales within the US and Canada.

Tuffy's and its
parent company,
KLN Family Brands,
have a prominent
presence in Perham,
Minnesota, not
only for their
multi-million-dollar
processing facilities
but also for how
they invest in the
community.
Photos by Kim J Photography

Under construction
The pet food company has been racing to keep up with
demand as the pet food and treat industry grows. In
2015, Tuffy's opened a new $70 million, 180,000-sq.-ft.
dry pet food manufacturing facility. Since then, the company has added an $8 million meat processing operation
and begun a $35 million mill expansion and renovation
that is scheduled to be completed by early 2020.
The mill expansion includes a shiny new tower sporting Tuffy's and NutriSource logos that can be seen
for miles. Even without this new landmark, Tuffy's

www.petfoodprocessing.net | December 2019 | PET FOOD PROCESSING

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PET Food Processing - December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PET Food Processing - December 2019

PET Food Processing - December 2019
CONTENTS
OFF THE LEASH - Telling stories
TRENDS - Cold is HOT
PLANT PROFILE - AGGRESSIVELY GROWING
FOOD SAFETY - TEST and verify
INGREDIENTS - FOCUSED ON THE FACTS
FORMULATION - Balanced for BIOEFFICACY
EQUIPMENT - HANDLE with care
Harnessing HEAT
OPERATIONS - Starting Fresh
PACKAGING - Can do WITHOUT?
BEST IN SHOW
PATENTS TO PONDER
FEATURE EVENT - LUCKY 13th
EVENTS
AD INDEX
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - PET Food Processing - December 2019
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - PET Food Processing - December 2019
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 2
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 3
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 4
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - CONTENTS
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - OFF THE LEASH - Telling stories
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 7
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 8
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - TRENDS - Cold is HOT
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 10
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 11
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 12
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 13
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - PLANT PROFILE - AGGRESSIVELY GROWING
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 15
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 16
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 17
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 18
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 19
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 20
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 21
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 22
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - FOOD SAFETY - TEST and verify
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 24
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 25
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 26
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 27
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 28
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - INGREDIENTS - FOCUSED ON THE FACTS
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 30
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 31
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 32
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 33
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 34
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 35
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 36
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - FORMULATION - Balanced for BIOEFFICACY
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 38
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 39
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 40
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 41
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 42
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - EQUIPMENT - HANDLE with care
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 44
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 45
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 46
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 47
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 48
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - Harnessing HEAT
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 50
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 51
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 52
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 53
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 54
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - OPERATIONS - Starting Fresh
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 56
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 57
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 58
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 59
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 60
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - PACKAGING - Can do WITHOUT?
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 62
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 63
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 64
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 65
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - BEST IN SHOW
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 67
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - PATENTS TO PONDER
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 69
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 70
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - FEATURE EVENT - LUCKY 13th
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - EVENTS
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 73
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - AD INDEX
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 75
PET Food Processing - December 2019 - 76
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