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Purina Accuses Rival Blue Buffalo

In the Dog Food War of Misleading Their Consumers


forum 2014


Nestle’s Purina PetCare division filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging competitor Blue Buffalo misled consumers in its advertisements marketing its healthy food line. Purina slammed Blue Buffalo, alleging the company “repeatedly and unequivocally state(s) that its pet food products contain ‘NO Chicken/Poultry By-Product Meals,’” when laboratory tests show that its “Pet Protection” line in fact “contained significant percentages of poultry by-product meal.” The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis.


FOX Business was unable to immediately reach Blue Buffalo through telephone or a contact form on the company’s website. A review of the court docket did not indicate which firm would be representing the company in federal court. If true, the allegations would deal a significant blow to Blue Buffalo’s advertising that its products “only (use) the finest natural ingredients.”


In addition to the claim about poultry by-products, Purina also alleged Blue Buffalo’s vow to not use corn was debunked in laboratory tests that found corn in the company’s “LifeSource Bits.” Purina said Blue Buffalo spent $50 million last year on advertising its premium pet-care products, in a bid to knock larger competitors down. Blue Buffalo commands materially higher prices than mainstream brands as a result of its premium posturing. For example, on Petco’s website, 31.1 pounds of Purina ONE Smartblend Chicken & Rice Formula Dog Food ran $34.99 (discounted from $39.99), while 30 pounds of Blue Buffalo Chicken & Brown Rice Adult Dog Food cost $59.99.


Spending on pets has exploded in recent years. The American Pet Products Association – a trade group – estimates total U.S. pet expenditures will weigh in at $58.51 billion this year, up from $17 billion a decade ago. Of that total, the APPA estimates $22.62 billion will be spent on pet food alone, up from $21.57 billion last year.


The case is Nestlé Purina PetCare Company v. Blue Buffalo Company Ltd., No. 4:14-cv-00859 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis. - Adam Samson, > Purina Accuses Rival Blue Buffalo


Dear Pet Parents, I’m writing to you about the lawsuit Nestle Purina filed today alleging that Blue Buffalo has lied to you about the ingredients in our pet foods. We categorically deny all of these false allegations and will aggressively defend the integrity of our brand and our products. It is an easy thing to make unsubstantiated claims, put them in a lawsuit and then publish them all over the web to disparage and defame a company. It is quite another thing to prove those allegations.


Please be assured that unlike Nestle Purina:

  • Blue Buffalo does not use chicken by-product meal or poultry by-product meal in any of our products

  • Blue Buffalo does not use ground corn in any of our products

  • Blue Buffalo does not use artificial preservatives in any of our products

We will prove these and other matters in the court with good reliable evidence, and we look forward to disproving the voodoo science that Nestle Purina relied on to support their outrageous allegations. We’re disappointed to see one of the largest food companies in the world with over $100 billion in sales launching such a baseless lawsuit against a family-run company and attempting to prosecute it on the Internet. In some ways this attack by Nestle Purina is not too surprising, since pet parents have demonstrated their preference by selecting true natural foods like Blue Buffalo instead of the by-product and corn-based pet foods Nestle Purina has been selling for years. In fact, their inability to compete successfully with natural pet foods is the key motivation for this frivolous lawsuit.


My sons and I founded Blue Buffalo with the mission of bringing transparency to pet foods, and made the True Blue Promise to our pet parents. Clearly, some of our major competitors, who have built their business using lower cost ingredients, are upset. We will always stand behind our promise and our products. We have a saying at Blue Buffalo: “When we’re right, we fight.” We look forward to seeing Nestle Purina in court.


Sincerely, Bill Bishop, Founder and Chairman, > Nestle Purina response


News received from Fred Lanting EST 2002 © 1406





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