Pet food advertising is a personal pet peeve (PPP). Misleading unknowing consumers is wrong. Misleading pet food advertising could and should be prevented as regulations consider pet food websites and advertising an extension of the label. But…regulatory authorities don’t bother with enforcement of websites and advertising.
Below is an example of a pet food advertising campaign. You decide if this is misleading or not.
MediaPost.com published a press release type article titled “Rachael Ray’s Nutrish Pet Food Lanuches $40 Million Campaign”. The article shared that Nutrish pet food passed “$280 million in retail sales for the most recent 52 week period” thanks to last years advertising campaign (which led to “$100 million in sales growth”). The new advertising “primary target/audience is women ages 35-54 with a household of $75,000 and higher” and also targets “a label reader, and therefore buys natural.”
The new product line that will be highly advertised this year is Nutrish DISH. Below is the label of the Nutrish DISH Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Dog Food.
The pet food clearly displays grilled chicken on the label (note the grill marks). On the Nutrish website it states “slow-roasted chicken pieces that you can actually see”.
But, with a phone call to Nutrish I learned that the chicken is not grilled. “It is cooked first, then dehydrated.” This pet food is doing the same thing so many others are doing, displaying grilled meat on the label when none of the ingredients are grilled. Below is an image of the actual ‘real chicken pieces’ in the dog food…
Question: Does the label image of chicken look anything like the ‘slow roasted chicken pieces’ in the bag? (Which are not slow roasted they are dehydrated.)
Why do so many pet food companies mislead consumers into believing grilled meat (implying human food quality) in in the pet food? The answer: because misleading consumers into believing the pet food is just like the food they eat sells a lot of pet food. And because they can get away with it – regulatory authorities don’t stop them. Regulatory authorities could and should stop misleading advertising. If the label tells consumers there is grilled chicken in the pet food, it should be grilled. There is no excuse.
By the way, Rachael Ray’s Nutrish Pet Food is a feed grade pet food. It is not a human grade pet food (as the grilled meat and roasted vegetable ingredients on the label imply).
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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