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Rumor Is…Mars Petcare to Buy Blue Buffalo Pet Food

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  1. Regina

    Susan,
    Your last paragraph is the same question I scream while pulling out my hair (sorry for the over-dramatics!!!)

    Why, oh, why, do they need so many DIFFERENT brands of pet foods??? Don’t they all compete with each other?

    I hate all of the different “levels” of stuff that purina puts out. Do the customers not realize that when they’re saying something good about this one purina product, they’re basically saying that the rest of their products DON’T have that great thing.
    The same with all those commercials for iams pet foods, and their “keep love strong” tag line. Yeah, this one product we make has “more chicken” (more than . . . what???), but the rest of their crap can’t say that.

    I guess so many “consumers” are just too stupid or lazy to read between the lines.

    ugh.

    ugh, ugh, ugh.

    1. Ellie

      Most people are not aware that many of the various food companies (both human and animal) are owned by corporations that own many different companies. Why? Money. It is big business. They may buy a company just to put it out of business. As far at pet food goes, they can make multiple mixes in the same factories and just slam different labels on them. It is just another way of controlling the market.
      More than likely they will keep the name of “Blue Buffalo” but change the ingredients and processing to meet their particular “standards.” Just more garbage.
      You wonder why most of the wealth in this country is held by a small percentage of the people? This is one example. The rich get richer.

      1. Rick

        Do you work in the industry and therefor have an informed and educated answer or are you just making an assumption?

        1. Ellie

          I went to school and learned to read. Why don’ t you try spending your time studying the markets and you would have a clue.

    2. Amanda

      I think there are two major reasons why single companies own so many brands. First off they can wipe out the competition with other brands, and secondly, they give the consumer the illusion of choice. I think either way its unfair and unethical. Why does there need to be a monopoly on pet food? Why does 80% of the pet food isle have to be loaded with lies, fancy packaging and bottomless health claims? It’s a shame… Especially when these brands could be combined into one single well formulated food. Imagine the money they’d save on advertising alone!

  2. Mimi

    This is why I feed raw…

    1. Jan Beardsley-Blanco

      amen – me too (raw feeder that is……………)
      seems to me, whenever big business purchases a quality pet food brand, it all goes to He** in a handbasket. Guess I’ll have to look for something different then – been feeding Blue Buffalo, the cats like it…….a nice change from raw for them.
      Jan

    2. Adriana Rojas

      Completely agree…

    3. Michelle

      YES!! You would not believe how many people look at me in horror when I say I feed raw! As if dry nasty crap is better!!

  3. BC

    Well well- now we know the truth. Blue Buffalo was getting mfg costs down to pump up bottom line- I now believe they had full knowledge of buying the cheap byproduct meal- and scammed consumers.
    Shall we let Mars inherit a class action lawsuit?

    1. Scout

      Agree with BC – been feeding BB Wilderness Kitten Chicken (along with raw diet to a Kitten) and noticing the visible by-products – black specs and tiny pieces of hard dark gray matter that looks and feels like hoof specs or even stone bits. If you place a little in a dish of water you can see what floats out that isn’t food! Also BB Wilderness Salmon Dry for Cats which the cats who eat it really like has bits of whitish cow hair sticking out of almost every piece of kibble. Fortunately the cats that live with me eat a balanced raw chicken diet and very little commercial food. The ferals that I feed do however eat BB Wilderness dry and canned daily. I suspect every single commercial Pet food product contains by-products regardless of what the label states – and that some are just worse than others. Susan’s testing should reveal actual ingredients in tested brands – can’t wait for results!

      1. BS

        Scout you are so uneducated on by products. There are many HIGH quality pet foods that use HIGH quality by products. Hoofs are not part of ALL by products. Do some EDUCATED research…

  4. Pamela Curry

    Conglomerates and takeovers undo the work of all good men…this is history and a sad one.

    This is a problem across many fields and not just in pet food but because of the wonderful job you do at keeping us informed about regulatory problems it makes the end result worse in pet food. I lost 2 cats to the Pet food recall and a few years of my life giving palliative care.

    I stress out feeding myself and my cat family, that is truly who they are, even when I supplement their food with human grade food I worry. I worry because I know that members of my human “family”, such a joke that word, who are corrupt, lazy, and were addicted to drugs from their teens to the adulthood are not in public service from anything but greed. The need not to have to work more than bank hours or courthouse hours. The halls of justice are set up to protect most of the formulas for pet food, as proprietary information and the process as a business secret.

    Today Purina removed a comment I made on their facebook page. They sent me an email with a headline about a new cat litter, I use Tidy Cat and Blue right now. The email was a self promotion for purina with no information about the cat litter. It was absurd.

  5. Teresa Johnson

    Don’t they all compete against each other? Well, technically, NO… not if only one parent company owns them all. It’s an illusion to those consumers unaware of the “back story” as it were. sigh.
    How many different brands can one company own? In the long run only one… it’s just wrapped in different packaging as a diversionary tactic for sales boosting.
    Why does the refrain from a classic rock song keep running through my mind. . . “another one bites the dust”

  6. Liz

    Why is a website calling itself “truth about pet food” publishing a Rumor? Kind of contradictory.

    con·tra·dic·to·ry
    ˌkäntrəˈdikt(ə)rē/Submit
    adjective
    1.
    mutually opposed or inconsistent.
    “the two attitudes are contradictory”
    synonyms: opposed, in opposition, opposite, antithetical, contrary, contrasting, conflicting, at variance, at odds, opposing, clashing, divergent, discrepant, different….

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Most consumers want to know information like this, even if it is rumor at this point.

      1. Cathy

        Hmmm… There is TRUTH in a rumor! Currently, this rumor would be considered an “uncertain truth”.

        ru·mor
        ˈro͞omər
        noun
        1.
        a currently circulating story or report of uncertain or doubtful truth.
        “they were investigating rumors of a massacre”

      2. Sue

        The “truth” about the owner of Blue is that he is a marketing wiz and only started this company to make another bundle after he sold off his Sobe beverage brand. I never trust someone who enters the market a little late to the game and says they developed their brand because there wasn’t anything they felt was good enough for their pets. 😉

        1. Amanda

          Exactly! Even from the start I didn’t trust Blue Buffalo. No one understood why! They’d say “oh there’s no bad ingredients, they advise you to read the label, blah blah blah.” All I could say was “look at the history and tell me this isn’t sketchy to you… There might not be anything outwardly bad about the food, but there is nothing innovative except their advertising.” I wish I could say I’m happy that I was right about them, but with so many pet parents conned into feeding their product thinking they’re doing the right thing, I’m still pretty disappointed. : (

      3. Regina

        Susan, has anything become of this rumor? or was it just some “chatter” put out to misinform folks?

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          Nothing to my knowledge, I guess it was just chatter. I’ve even wondered if it was intentionally leaked to me – for a motive we don’t know. (my bad attitude talking)

    2. Nancy

      rumor of wars, rumor of pestilence, rumor of untruths, hmmmmm, how many times have those “stinking rumors” turned into those unreal truths?? I’d be tickled pink to be able to hear those rumors….especially
      since they CAN keep one of their toes and in these cases keep their pets alive. I believe it has been said
      “that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” Remember that one? Count me in on the first
      one to Appreciate a Rumor! Thanks Susan for all the work you do! Never mind the people that have their
      head on backwards………they most likely don’t even have a pet and aren’t here looking for help either.

  7. Dave

    A chart of who owns which brands, like Cornucopia made for “natural” foods for people, would be great.

    1. Sue

      I would love to see a chart of who owns which brands. Dry, canned, freeze dried, raw diets … all of them

      1. Sandra Cole

        I’m right there with you, Sue! Wouldn’t it be nice if such information were EASY to find? I first became aware of the whole conglomerate mess when I was a business student and uncovered that Unilever owns Dove, Suave, Degree, Caress, just to name a few. All competitors of one another on the surface, but all brands of the same manufacturer. Sigh. It’s sad to know this is true in the Pet Food Industry, too. Though I shouldn’t be surprised as it occurs in the human food chain, too. Con Agra Foods is like the Unilever of foods.

        Source for Unilever info provided: http://www.unileverusa.com/brands-in-action/view-brands.aspx

  8. Sue

    The brands that Mars owned before purchasing P&G pet food brands are some of the cheapest quality food out there. I was actually reconsidering EVO as a food choice until Mars bought Natura. (I own a small pet food store in NY) That was a sign to me that the food might become less than it is. Now it has recalls again.

    I have himmed and hawed about Blue Buffalo Wilderness because soooo many people ask for it. I am not crazy about that food even before the Purina law suit. But now that Mars will own it I can finally close the door on that one also.

    1. Tammy Garrison

      I truly believe Blue Buffalo killed my 3 year old Siamese. She died of acute pancreatitis. We switched our pets to Blue Buffalo to help with a cat acne problem for our other cat. But then Anna suddenly got terribly sick and I found all kinds of Consumer Affairs Reports of other dogs and cats developing pancreatitis after switching to Blue Buffalo. I have become a firm believer that no cat should be eating dried food of any kind and Ellen is right about due diligence. We didn’t do it, and we lost a beloved pet long before her life should have ended.

  9. Ellen

    This is a perfect example of why pet owners must not only do their “due” diligence when searching for good quality foods, but even after making their choices, they must continue to monitor the foods’ manufacturers. A brand name may be retained, but the brand’s quality can vastly change. And it usually does (and not for the better) when the brand is sold to a large commercial entity whose only goal is increasing their bottom line.

    Thanks for the heads up about Blue Buffalo.

    1. Joe

      Blue is not the product you think it is. I personally know some food scientists who have known for some time that their quality is not what they claim it is, and now Nestle is proving it. My acquaintances do not work at Nestle, by the way.

      Here is Blue’s statement about using animal byproduct – http://bluebuffalo.com/about-us/whats-new-at-blue/wilbur-ellis-texas-plant/. Read the story from Nestle here – http://www.petfoodhonesty.com/.

      As an employee of a food manufacturing company myself who’s worked in purchasing and supply chain, I’ve got a pretty good idea of how this stuff works, and Blue was caught red handed.

      1. Connie

        Do you not remember when Blue got caught red handed adding “companion by-products”, you neighbor’s dog, cat, horse, chicken beaks and feet not that many years ago? When word got out, Blue back peddled and made every effort to cover their tracks and remove the offensive ingredients from their food.

  10. Audree

    Thank you for giving us the heads up. I’m confident as soon as anything definitive is available, you’ll let us know.
    Happy Holidays to all.

  11. Gitta

    I just wonder: how much difference is there really between the brands, all owned by the same company? Am I to believe, each brand has its very own supplier, its very own formula, its own “quality” standards and controls? Or is the only thing truly different the color of the bag?

    1. Rick

      Brands within companies like Mars have different formulas as well as different suppliers based on the ingredients in the bag. Usually acquisitions occur when a company is attempting a reach a segment of the market not attainable with it’s current portfolio of brands. Building a brand from the ground up is very expensive vs. acquiring one.

  12. dave

    Have any companies issued statements that they have no plans to sell? There must be owners of small pet food companies that are as upset about this as we are. It would be worth something to see statements like this. It would speak to the integrity of the company.

  13. Laura

    Thank you for letting us know about this. Even if it’s a rumor I want to keep an eye out. If this deal goes through I’m NEVER buying Blue Buffalo again. Mars can buy as many brands as they want and I will exercise my right as a consumer to not buy the product!

  14. julie santos

    I am so totally confused. With 4 senior dogs, all with unique health issues, it’s a nightmare. I thought Blue was one of the best. Now this. I have a husky/shepherd with chronic hot spots, a cocker spaniel with chicken allergies and chronic ear and anal gland infections, another cocker with fatty tumors and tends to gain weight, and another cocker in late stage congestive heart failure who is losing muscle mass and needs high protein and low sodium. OMG…..I am losing my mind here.

    1. Dave

      I have had good luck going to 1 or 2 specialty pet supply stores. Some of the people there are pretty knowledgeable about quality and the different brands. And the people there tend to be so nice, because they may have been in your situation, or at least talked to lots of people who have. I trust Dr. Karen Becker, who has videos about what’s the best diets. And you might be able to find a holistic vet in your area thru ahvma.org, and the vet could guide you on food. It can be so confusing, but the research pays off. And this site has recommended foods.

      1. Nancy

        After my ordeal with BB I started reading A LOT and came across one book on holistic
        vet medicine called The Nature of Animal Healing The Definitive Holistic Medicine Guide to Caring For Your Dog and Cat by Martin Goldstein, D. V. M.
        It covers the truth about vaccines, diet, and disease. It was an eye opener for me and since I bought it I have been reading it every night. It has outstanding reviews on Amazon and I am so glad I bought it. I wish I knew some of this stuff before I ever had purchased, rescued, found my any of my dogs. It covers everything including food. I can’t say enough about it. Especially after spending $3500 in emergency vet bills on top of being on disability. That’s three months of checks I don’t have, didn’t have, now have sitting on a credit card. As Susan’s book says (another great one) Buyer Beware! You can’t go wrong with hers either!

    2. Michelle

      My suggestion would be to try feeding your much loved dog and/or cat Nature’s Variety canned pet good. It’s made in a variety of flavors such as vension, pork, duck, rabbit, lamb, and it even has a Limited Ingredient Diet line for those pets with severe food restrictions. HIGH QUALITY, CANNED CAT/DOG FOOD is made WITHOUT FILLERS or “animal by products”, which HAVE NO NUTRITIONAL value. HIGH QUALITY CANNED pet food helps PREVENT food allergies. I’ve fed my cat the beef flavor (it’s cheaper) and her allergies flared up really bad, so I switched back to the other five flavors for her. Check out “Nature’s Variety” website for yourself and maybe even buy a few cans for your cat or dog. Yeah, it’s a little more expensive, but IT’S REAL, GOOD QUALITY pet food. My cat is the first pet I, myself, have ever had and I want her to be as happy, energetic, and healthy for as long as possible. Feeding her Nature’s Variety canned food is one of the best things I can do for her.

      1. Cathy

        I bought a bag of Natures Variety Instinct raw frozen food. Seemed like really good food, convenient to feed. I saw on the bag when I bought it contained Montmorillonite clay. Researched the Internet about containing dioxins. Seems like this ingredient is in just about all their products including the canned foods. I contacted Natures Variety about the clay and dioxins, they said their supplier tested for it. I asked for a written test report, but they refused. So just word of mouth isn’t good enough for me whether it contains dioxins or not . Have not bought another bag or any of their other food.

  15. Laura

    Can anyone recommend a dry cat food that is comparable to blue buffalo without corn?

    1. Anne

      Hi Lara,

      I’ve been feeding my furbabies Orijen and ProNature Holistic for their dry food since Natura’s recall a few years ago. So far, so good (knock on my wooden head) and no corn in either one. Good luck.

      1. dave

        After caring for my cat with kidney disease for three years, I’d really suggest trying to get some canned food, rehydrated raw (like Stalla and Chewy’s), or thawed raw that you can buy at the pet food store. One of the retailers in my area (Petsage) was going to get rid of ALL dry cat food, and sell only canned and raw. I think she lost so much business she might have relented. But I’d sure hate to see your kitty suffer like mine did. She just passed away, and was down to 4.7 pounds.

        With my cats, I have had good luck with Wellness, Pride, Orijen and Weruva canned. The one w/ kidney disease was fussy. To keep her weight up, I did give her some Wysong geriatric dry food. It’s got lots of nutrients like probiotics in it, and the way they prosess it is similar to raw food, in terms of the proteins remaining close to the way they are in their natural state.

      2. Scout

        I agree with Dr. Lisa Pierson http://www.catinfo.org that cats should eat canned or natural home made (raw) diets rather than Dry.
        In reply to Anne – if they do eat Dry, ORIJEN appears to be better than most other Dry foods – especially the two formulas which are not fish based. Hopefully their product labels are accurate and honest. My indoor cats eat a balanced homemade raw diet but they also eat Soulistic canned (made by Weruva and sold only by Petco) and Orijen dry occasionally. The ferals that I feed have been eating Blue Wilderness dry and canned but I will now be changing that as I believe Blue products may contain dangerous levels of toxic material.

  16. Cheryl Archuleta

    Before you start spreading rumors and before you start believing rumors, why don’t you all wait until Blue Buffalo makes a statement. I could say pigs fly, would you believe it. I can’t believe so many people jump to conclusions without definite proof.
    This, “he said – she said” stuff is inflammatory and is probably spread by a rival company. Innocent until proven guilty.

    1. Nancy

      Rumors my butt. I have an italian greyhound and a $3500 vet bill. Switched dog food end of Oct and as of
      this week she now has four days of eating without vomiting. Yes, just like the other dogs that were vomiting up blood, so was mine. We almost lost her. How can you mention “rumors” while the dead cats and dogs, puppies and kittens are stacking up? Wake up Lady and smell the deception!
      It’s not the first time with them…….I even called them and asked when I first noticed something was wrong and I was reassured the food was fine, even as they took the information off the bag….trusting them I put her back on it and all hell broke loose. Rumor my butt!

      nd

    2. Nancy

      Cheryl,
      I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what dog food company do you work for?

      1. Dave

        Let’s back up. This site started because “reputable” pet food companies were selling dog food made from tainted ingredients from overseas. Lots of dogs were dying. The point… pet food compnies have shown they can be untrustworthy. They did not inspect ingredients, they did not use common sense about sourcing ingredients. So we have every right to be extremely skeptical. If you don’t like the conversation, please go elsewhere. We have a right to discuss EVERY aspect of the pet food industry. I am glad to know about this rumor; I have learned a lot I didn’t know about Blue Buffalo and Mars Petcare.

  17. Dave

    I wouldn’t be suprised if we see price increases just because Mars Petcare can. Now would be a good time to document prices and be able to show unreasonable increases concretely if they occur. I once watched as General Mills raised the price of Total cereal from about $4.00 to about $5.99, in 20 or 30 cent increments over about a years time. Later I saw the CEO of that company on Jim Cramer’s show bragging about how people will stick to their favorite cereal, even if the price goes up. I think this is true to some extent with pet food. and if you switch, and it’s to another Mars Petcare brand, they still win.

  18. kelly

    WOW~! this is SAD! I sit here pounding my brain, wondering why my 4 year old box/pitt has just been diagnosed with kidney failure. I have bought into the “blue” BS and now looking back, how blind I am. My vet wanted to put my precious baby to sleep when she seen her BUN and CRE levels. I just lost my mother, I cannot loose my baby Chewie. I am praying and now converting her over to raw diet for kidney patients. thank you for your site and opeing my eyes.

  19. Bonnie

    Where are they Anti-Trust laws….so much for this administrations DOJ

  20. Bobbi Bowman

    DelMonte is another company that buys or partners with a lot of other companies. This past February, DelMonte partnered with Natural Balance, then closed the sale of all its food businesses – and its name – to unaffiliated company, Del Monte Pacific Ltd. The old DelMonte is now “Big Heart Pet Brands”, claiming to be “the largest standalone pet food and pet snack company in North America.” They only deal in pet food now. Sure, I hate to be affiliated with some of the worst pet foods and snacks on the market (ie Milk-Bone, Meow Mix, Kibbles ‘n Bits, 9Lives, Milo’s Kitchen, Pup-Peroni, Nature’s Recipe, Canine Carry Outs and Gravy Train.), BUT, they didn’t partner with Natural Balance to make it a cheaper made food, etc. Natural Balance still uses its own sources for the food and all the ingredients, and Natural Balance has their own testing facility, something other pet food companies do not have. It was a plus for them to say that Natural Balance was under their “umbrella” of pet foods. In fact, Natural Balance was able to come out with even more healthy food and snacks, because Big Heart Foods has the money to do this. They are not adding any cheap fillers, or 2nd grade food, like some other companies do. Natural Balance is still using the same high quality food, and our furbabies love it!!

  21. Bobbi Bowman

    I always liked Blue because the owner started the company when his own dog “Blue” died of cancer, and he wanted a good food to prevent this. I have heard that Blue donates a lot, to the research of cancer in animals.

    1. Tammy Garrison

      Don’t care what he’s supposedly doing when animals are getting sick and mine died all because of his food.

  22. Chris

    Any follow up on this yet? Do we have a time line for the purchase?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I have heard nothing more from the person that shared this information with me – so…I don’t know.

      1. Chris

        Thanks Susan, please keep us posted as you hear more.

  23. Linda DuSell

    Hi Susanj!! Have you heard anymore about Blue Buffalo getting bought? I own an independent pet supply store and am getting very concerned about the quality of this product.

  24. Bonnie

    Where are the anti trust laws….. xxx xxxx xxxxxx …u fill in the blank…

  25. Kristin

    Did you ever hear any new news on this? I am curious to know if this was true or if it was just a rumor started to tarnish BBs reputation. It may also be that they are just waiting it out but still considering it. I think since the recall and everything that allowing Mars to buy them out would really destroy what reputation they have left, but with the owner getting older he may be thinking about it still. Either way, I stopped feeding my dogs BB around 2015 when the food started turning both my dogs stool black and tarry. I switched to Fromm Lamb and Lentil formula and I’ve not had a single issue since.

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