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Nestle Purina in “talks” to purchase Champion Pet Food

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  1. P Ramsay

    Have been feeding Acana to my dog and cat for YEARS, it would be a disaster if Purina took over! If they manage to do so, I hope that they do not change anything as they must realize that Acana and Orijen are quality food – they will lose many clients due to trying to economize by using crap ingredients. It is enough to make me think of switching to raw which I’ve never felt compelled to do as my animals do so well with Acana.

    1. Chris

      The people who run Champion are a bunch of clowns. They have been going on and on for years about small and local businesses, and even pulled their products from Chewy over the PetSmart thing. Suddenly, they’re all giddy about freaking Purina? What a joke.

  2. Laurie Raymond

    I have been waiting for an opportunity to stop carrying the Champion brands for several years, and this would certainly fit the bill. As dry foods go, it has met my quality standards. But the company has been the most terrible I’ve ever dealt with on customer service and transparency. I’ve been uneasy for a bit, intuiting that they were up to something. If Nestle is involved, all remaining confidence in their products evaporates immediately, to my way of thinking. It will be off the shelves in my store, and I’ll be much happier. I’ve been switching customers to Open Farm for a couple of years. Their customer service has declined a bit due to rapid growth, but Champion has always manifested utter contempt for retailers, and Open Farm seems to be honest and open with me, and responsive to consumers – although we have not had consumers complain about their products. I’m making headway with teaching customers to at least add whole foods to their pets’ diets, reducing their dependence on commercial products. Some are even taking the next step and making their pets’ meals from scratch.

    1. Regina

      Thank you for your comment, Laurie

    2. Janice

      Champion has always responded to my (a consumer’s) inquiries. Open Farm is also very responsive, although I wonder why, since it uses human grade food ingredients, it does not also use human grade supplements. Also, it would be extremely helpful if it put the complete nutrient profiles of their foods online (as Champion, Honest Kitchen, and some others do). Is anyone familiar with Open Farm’s “Human Grade Stew”?

    3. Hannie

      I hope all retailers feel the same……& by the way, I rarely use their products after the way they treated their customers in Australia when their cats started to fall ill. They were downright nasty to these people & I never forgot it. Funny how quickly they forget who keeps them in business……anything that Purina is involved in is not allowed in this house, end of story…..

    4. Sage

      Laurie, if you don’t already carry RAWZ, you should check out their story, products and ingredients. Their website’s About (history) page is here http://rawznaturalpetfood.com/our-story/#family-history. RAWZ is only available at specialty pet food retailers (such as yourself). I stopped feeding Orijen shortly after they moved to Kentucky. My cats (including ferals) in addition to Rawz, also eat Weruva and homemade raw chicken from Lisa Pierson’s formula.

    5. Sheila Eddy

      I’ll second Regina in thanking Laurie for her comment! Oh dear – we value and try to support small businesses and it just pains me to learn the truth about Champion.

      1. Pam Nadelman

        There’s way more “truth” to Champion. They’ve been owned by investors for many years now, at least 5 or 6, and the long standing no carb formula was filled with fava beans and two lentil ingredients. They also added more “fresh” fish to fish formula but actually the fish they added were the junky ones; higher quality ones were eliminated or placed further down on ingredient list. I stopped selling/feeding their products after I kept getting the same scripted responses to different questions from Canada facility. They continued also to use picture & reference to founder to promote themselves but he’s been gone for many years and I’m sure would be none too pleased to know how his beloved company has been trashed…..and now this.

    6. Gena Madigan

      I am a breeder and have never had any issue getting the information I needed from them. In fact they are happy to have lengthy conversation about their food and nutrients that goes into it. They are fine with my pet store as well. Very easy to deal with. Especially for returns. If you switch to a flavour the dog won’t eat, they happily take the bag back. Even if it is 3/4 full. Are you Canadian or American? The Canadian company is wonderful. I have never dealt with the US branch.

  3. Holly Rist

    Initially, people will get bent out of shape and say they won’t buy anything ‘owned by Purina’. But after a while, they’ll forget all about it and it will be business as usual. The same thing happened when Purina bought Merrick. But I see that food fly off the shelves, especially since they redesigned the bags and cans. After all, people buy with their eyes- very rarely do I see them read the list of ingredients

    1. P Ramsay

      My pet food store has very knowledgeable staff who have educated many clients as to nutrition so I don’t think that anyone buying at this store will buy without reading ingredients, also this store only carries the best products. I find that people who buy in a supermarket are the type who buy with their eyes and have absolutely NO clue as to nutrition.

      1. Regina

        And of course, with the purchase of Merrick, which also brought along Castor and Pollux, Purina has yet to put THEIR NAME anywhere on the packaging, so it may just be that folks who are new to caring about what they feed their pets have no idea that purina ownz Merrick and C&P. And I’m sure lots of employees pushing Merrick have no idea they are actually selling a purina product.

        1. Mary Lynn Bartram

          I am shocked to hear that Purina owns Merrick. Why does it always come down to money that good companies don’t stay self contained and keep producing a product pet parents can trust. I have been feeding Acana to my dogs for a long time and have felt good with that choice but hearing about Purina buying them changes that.

    2. MJ

      Hi Holly, I guess I am one of the rare people that will never give my money to Purina/Nestles ever! I have been buying Orijen cat & dog food for over 10 years, but I will definitely find a replacement. I will never forget who owns the company.

    3. Tom

      lol
      Merrick dry has completely collapsed as far as sales go in my stores. Wet and treats still do well, but not for long… The new cans are smaller and more expensive

    4. Deanna Kane

      I work in a big box pet store and I used to feed my dogs Merrick. Ever since Purina purchased them I noticed the food has gone downhill. We employees were told Garth Merrick was still involved and calling the shots according to the ingredients and manufacturing of the food and I don’t believe it at all. I get numerous complaints daily from customers that their dogs are throwing up after eating Merrick, have loose stools, that the food smells awful or their dogs simply won’t eat it anymore. My dogs refuse to eat it too now and I have a feeling Purina changed the formula and quality of ingredients. Purina and these big corporations seem to destroy every dog food brand that they buy out. It’s truly a shame.

  4. Paula higgins

    How sad…the sale will go thru – money talks. While I have switched primarily to raw human grade food for my dogs I use to feed Champion products. I will not touch their products once Purina owns them.

  5. Shannon

    This is horrible. I’ve seen it happen too many times where the quality of the product declines or they cease production altogether. I fed my pets Innova and this happened, and now Acana? Big pet food companies are buying smaller independent companies so that they can put them out of business to eliminate the competition.

    1. Regina

      That is a very scary thought, indeed!

    2. Pam Nadelman

      Are you aware that Mars bought Natura Pet a few years ago and that Innova is now made by Mars, manufacturer of Pedigree?

      1. Kim

        It’s been awhile but I’m pretty sure Mars bought Natura from Proctor and Gamble after they failed miserably with it when they bought it from Natura. That food is dead in the area I live in.

  6. jennifer hahn

    I am worried about the already in trouble champion food comapony being tempted by purina-the plant moved and now has heavy metals from catfish in foods and is being sued in 4 states. the law suits are damaging the bottom line and now they may have to sell out to the bottom feeding creepy purina…………..a very sad day in pet food land. Very sad.

    1. Sheila Eddy

      Wait a minute…what?!?! Heavy metals and being sued and in 4 states?! Please elaborate. Thanks.

      1. Laurie Raymond

        Since this thread began, Susan has published an article about these suits based upon analysis of heavy metals paid for by a nonprofit outfit called “the clean label project.” The Whole Dog Journal did an expose of it (the CLP) concluding that its motives, methods and conclusions are simply not credible. Today’s article in TAPF (July 18) gives specifics of the heavy metal concentrations in Champion foods alleged in the suit. But you’ll notice there is no context for meaningful comparison. The CLP has a ratings page on its website and as an example, it gives Ol Roy 5 stars and Nutrisource 1 star. On any criterion, incomprehensible. Am I losing it and falling for a conspiracy theory, or has anyone else entertained the thought that the CLP published these “findings” and a short time later, Champion is in “talks” to sell to Purina? Why did CLP single out Champion products? Why does it only publish info about Champion products, without the same test results given for other brands? Was the purpose to trash Champion’s reputation to soften it up for Purina’s offer? I don’t know. But the pet food industry is so corrupt I wouldn’t be shocked by such a move. That being said, I am NOT defending Champion. This week I have begun purging its products and telling customers I will no longer carry them. The last straw for me was the company’s response to new information about the linkage of one Acana product, pork and squash singles, with dogs diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. New investigations into the Maillard reaction suggest that this can create a taurine deficiency due to the processing of starchy veggies and proteins. There are many questions still to be elucidated about this, but when Champion was informed, as a courtesy, it snottily responded that their foods are made for “normal” dogs, not “special needs” dogs. While it seems to be the case that some breeds may be more susceptible to DCM, that reaction so epitomized Champion’s attitude toward its consumers (2- and 4-legged) that I have lost all confidence in its quality and the little remaining confidence I had in its basic honesty. To my customers and any pet parents reading this, I strongly suggest that, if you must feed kibble, find several kinds, made by different companies (as reputable as possible makers) and rotate among them. Get away from dependence on one food – that is only true AFTER you take that advice for years and create addicted dogs. It was never anything but a marketing ploy! And feed fresh, whole food, of as high a quality as you can afford, every day.

        1. Holly Rist

          Any time Purina is involved, I’m suspicious. If we go back a few years, out of the blue Purina decided to check Blue Buffalo’s food for by product meals ( something BB says they never use) . And damned if they’d didn’t find some. Then Purina sued BB for something like false advertising. BB sued the supplier and just a few weeks ago, that company pled guilty to switching chicken meal with feather meal. Strangely, other companies were sent feather meal labeled as chicken meal but no one seems to know who those companies are. It seems as if only one company ever gets called out. I wonder why?.

  7. Hannie

    I have had to stop feeding a lot of what were once healthy pet foods……Acana is the next to go. Are they trying to be the only pet food company & our only choice? Glad I’m cooking for her & only use a touch of dry……however, if I can’t find anything healthy, will just drop the dry food……OMG, what next??????

  8. Hope

    Susan…the experience of Natura, though several years ago, is still alive for independent pet supply retailers and they did a lot of consumer education about it. So, I don’t think this is going to go well unless their buy out strategy is to focus on big box retailers such as Petco and PetSmart. I don’t think it will kill the brand but Nestle Purina buying out Champion will significantly change the image and the buyer of the brand. Not to mention all the high end formulas just waiting to fill this gap once the deal is done. Just my thoughts.

  9. Kim

    Will lose all respect for the top of the line dog food company tone associated with anything Purina. Knowing Purina is the worst dog food on the Market.

  10. Jan

    I am not surprised. I have fed my cat Farmina with trepidation even though the sales folks claim it is the “best.” Yeah, right… She is also fed Weruva for wet which I also question. Obviously, this acquisition is not good. Purina is atrocious. Yet, then again, the so-called ‘good’ brands are questionable. I don’t trust ANY of them. I’ve been in the process of switching my cat to raw. She loved Rad Cat lamb at first but then grew tired of it. I’ve got to acquaint her with other meats and plan to try out a local butchery that caters to pet owners. This news is a motivation to switch entirely. It’s time! Thanks for your reports, Susan. Most appreciated!!

  11. Mary

    I will not buy Acana for my dog anymore if Purina buys it. Purina must know this is a bad decision and they will not make any profit because Purina is known for their recalls and terrible food ingredients. I would no longer trust Acana if it was under Purina. Which is a shame because I have only bought Acana for my dogs because it’s such a trustworthy company and also you know it’s safe, high quality food and affordable…. I hate that I’d have to research for another food for my dogs but it is what I will do to ensure my dogs are safe and receiving the best nutrition. I will never go so low as to buy Purina products.

  12. Heidi Greene

    I stopped buying Orijen when they withdrew my ability to order via mail order at Chewy.com, and they really ignored all the customers like me that complained, asked for them to reconsider, and asked why they were doing it. I wondered if something like this was in the works, now I guess it’s confirmed. Some of us who live very rural do not have small pet stores that sell the better foods. The small pool of trusted foods just gets smaller every year with big corporations buying out and merging with all the smaller competitors. Until the industry changes significantly, I doubt in my lifetime – but I’m hopeful, I’m going to stick with mostly feeding my animals raw human food that comes from the same place mine does.

    1. Dawn

      They stopped selling thru chewys as did Fromm and nutri source, as they didn’t want to be associated with petsmart

      1. Holly Rist

        My understanding is that a few companies stopped selling thru Chewy because Chewy was selling the the food at a price BELOW what the independent retailer could buy the food for. Champion, Fromm etc felt it wasn’t fair and pulled their brands.

      2. Kim

        Yes but Fromm also sells directly to the consumer. https://www.gofromm.com/ . If Champion decides to sell to Purina it will be in the same channels that Merrick is in….

    2. Jeanie Todd Marvin

      That happened with a lot of higher-end foods because Chewy was purchased by Petsmart. The foods don’t want to be in Petsmart, so they were dropped.
      At least that’s my understanding.

    3. Patricia

      You can buy Orijin online through Petflow if you are interested.

    4. Pet Food

      Champion (Orijen/Acana), Fromm, and NutriSource all pulled their lines from Chewy because under PetSmart ownership it was no longer considered a “neighbrorhood pet specialty or family-owned” retailer. How it ever fit that classification is beyond me…

      You can see the company statements for more details. The Champion letter is pretty ludicrous in light of the Purina development.
      https://acana.com/usa/chewy-letter/
      https://nutrisourcepetfoods.com/chewy-statement
      https://frommfamily.com/retailers/our-commitment/

  13. Ian

    No, I will not buy it once owned by Purina.

  14. Pam Bromberg

    I have been feeding Orijen to my labs for over 15 years and pay more for this premium brand because it is Champion and not Nestle/Purina. As a trainer, if someone is going to feed kibble, I recommend Orijen. The instant the sale goes through I will switch no matter what and I will absolutely advise my clients to do the same. Moreover, no more Orijen treats will be bought – there are plenty of reliable, single ingredient Canadian companies for treats and who could really trust what Nestle will do with Orijen treats?. Nestle has ruined so many quality foods for our pets, risking not only their health, but also their behavioral wellness. I certainly hope Champion will consider all of heir loyal customers’ opinions on the matter and tell Nestle to take a hike.

    1. P Ramsay

      I will not feed Acana if Purina takes over but if you are looking for a reliable Canadian company who makes great treats, try Northern Biscuit, made in Ontario. https://www.northernbiscuit.ca/

  15. Sherri

    Not terribly surprising but it is disappointing. And no, I will not feed anything made by Nestle/Purina. They may say they are going to keep the recipes the same but I have no faith in that, they are going to eventually cut corners somewhere. I quit feeding Acana to my dogs some time ago after they opened their new plant in the US. Ingredients changed and cheapened and it was no longer a good fit for my dogs. It really is sad and disgusting how dirty the pet food industry really is and how hard it has become to find decent, clean food from a trustworthy source. I now feed my dogs fresh made food from a small, transparent company as well as homemade. No more kibble or canned food made from who knows what in this house ever again. My dogs love their food and have never looked better.

  16. Jeanie Todd Marvin

    I used to fee Taste of the Wild; they got bought out and the quality plummeted. Switched to Fromm, but lately found Acana light and fit so was going to switch to that. If Purina buys them, I will stick with Fromm. Just when we think we have a great dry food, the company gets bought out. So frustrating.

    1. Kim

      Taste Of The Wild has always been manufactured by Diamond Pet Products. Nothing changed there.

  17. Cindy

    I stopped feeding Orijen last year. The changes due to making it in Kentucky didn’t agree with my dogs. It’s too bad that these small, previously good quality, producers begin to see $$$ and there goes the quality. First Evo, then Orijen, who next?

  18. Neil G

    We stopped feeding Orijen and switched to Horizon and Smack. Both great foods out of Canada

    1. Zac Chernik

      watch out for Horizon….I just checked one of their products for ingredients
      1st 4 ingredients are:

      CHICKEN MEAL, RED LENTILS, PEAS, GARBANZO BEANS, PEA STARCH

      See Susan’s FDA Post regarding plant protein.

  19. Barb

    I have been feeding Champion Acana and Origen to my Yorkies for around 16 years. and have always trusted the company. I’ve been through their plant and everything was spotless and no smell of bad meat, as I had experienced with another kibble company. I live about 2 hours from where it is manufactured and there was only this original Champion Feeds. They have always been sincere and concerned with nutrition. You can always call and speak to them. It seems everything changed once they opened up the plant in Texas. I can’t complain about any of there kibble or treats. But once Nestle Purina steps in then I’m totally done. Everything can be so hush hush that a person never truly knows the truth but I’m sure this will be advertised and surely can’t go on behind closed doors. So I guess it’s time to do more research on raw.

  20. Terri Christenson janson

    I stopped buying it even before I heard this. I make my 6 dogs food. I sure would NOT feed anything with their mark on it and I don’t forget. I haven’t forgotten about merrick either or evangers. Just make your own food for your dog. You cook for yourself don’t you and if you have kids for them too….cook for your dog too. There are many recipes out there just like for us.

  21. mavis

    I quit feeding Merrick when Purina bought them..I will quit feeding Acana if they purchase Champion.

  22. Teresa Johnson

    I try to keep abreast of environmental issues as much as per food issues. I have declared a ban on all things related to Nestlé. The company has a history of buying water rights in even drought ridden areas world wide, bottling water and selling it back for a profit. A case in Michigan went to the courts when Nestlé asked for gallons and the township said no. Another case in California Nestlé had been taking water from a drought stricken area of public forest area for 15 years or more after contract expired, with no noticeable effort to halt operations or ask for a new contract. This is corporate greed and disregard of people, potential customers for them, plain and simple. My gut is telling me to expect that same disregard and disrespect as they move deeper into the pet foods industry.

  23. Karla G

    This is so sad … does absolutely EVERYONE have to sell out? {*sigh*}

  24. Peter

    If Nestle buys champion foods we will cease buying and recommending their products; we boycott everything Nestle.

  25. Rose

    Anyone who’s looking for a good alternative once this sale goes through (which is evidently will, as that statement given by champion was about as undenying as you can get) should look into steves real food. It comes in raw or freeze dried and in some cases is cheaper per day to feed than orijen. This is pretty sickening to see and as someone who works in a pet store I will no doubt be recommending other brands as it’s pretty clear nestle will end up with some stake in champion even if they don’t buy it outright. Sick.

  26. Charlotte

    Switch from kibble altogether and feed Instinct Raw. Read the ingredient panel, it’s all real food.

  27. Pet Health Plus Inc

    Pretty sure that once Purina has Orijen and Acana it will be avaiable on Chewys. They only care about profits.

  28. Born2waterski

    Yuck….will definitely stop buying Acana if Nestle buys them out. Highly doubt it will be about a quality product anymore. Time to start looking for a new food.

  29. Leanne

    Only real solution for dog owners now is choose the smallest dog you can be happy with, and feed it from the butcher shop. It is not ethical to feed them commercial dog food, especially kibble.

  30. Elaine Tsai

    I for one refuse to buy any food made or owned by Purina. If and when the sale goes through, I’m sad to say I will no longer purchase Origen/Acana for my dogs. There are other 5 star dog foods that are not owned by large greedy corporations and I will be searching them out. My local independent small pet food store will also cease carrying Champion brands as well. No matter what they say, money will win out in the end and quality will suffer. Sad, so sad.

  31. Stefanie

    I was feeding Solid Gold for over ten years. I thought maybe I was a little behind on the times and needed to find the latest thing. I started feeding Acana about 8 months ago to my three dogs and the first thing I noticed was the dulling of their once shiny coats. Next came the grass eating, OBSESSIVE grass eating, which none of my digs had ever done before. This was followed by a lot of itching and eventual refusal of the food altogether. If you knew my dogs you would know they are not picky eaters, there had to be something wrong with the food. They would stare at the bowl and then back up at me like “are you seriously gonna feed us this?” I went back to Solid Hold today and they are happy. I have always been happy with Solid Gold and I should have stayed with my trusted brand 🙁

  32. Petrina Power

    I’ve been buying acana for my two Russian Blue cats. If I wanted to feed them Purina, I would have bought Purina. I do not want to feed my cats a crappy food disguised as a quality food so when the deal’s done, so am I!

  33. Lisa Jones

    Nope. I refuse to buy anything owned by big corp. Better start looking for something new. Sigh….

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