Purina filed suit against Blue Buffalo, accusing the rival pet food company of false advertising about the ingredients in its dog and cat foods.
Blue Buffalo promotes its foods as all-natural, with no poultry byproduct meals and no corn, wheat or soy. According to the lawsuit, Purina said an independent lab it hired to test Buffalo Blue's food found animal by-products, corn, and grain. Via ABC News:
The pet food industry in recent years has seen a trend toward premium foods, with consumers showing more willingness to spend more on food perceived to be better for their animals. Sales of more expensive brands rose 68 percent from 2002 to 2012, compared with 19 percent for mid-priced brands and 8 percent for economy brands, according to Euromonitor International. Nestle Purina has been part of the trend, reporting solid growth in its high-end "made with natural ingredients" Beyond line.
The suit claims that testing by an independent lab and funded by Purina showed that several Blue Buffalo products contained "significant" percentages of poultry byproduct meal and corn. The suit also says several products promoted as "grain-free" contain rice hulls.
Purina (a unit of Nestle) wants the court to force Blue Buffalo to run "corrective advertising" about its all-natural claims and to pay damages to them for profits that were "a result of its false advertising and unfair competition."
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