In October 2014, Blue Buffalo faced a situation of accidental mislabeling due to an issue with one of its ingredient suppliers. A Texas plant owned by Wilbur-Ellis mislabeled some ingredients sent to the company’s customers, including Blue Buffalo. Wilbur-Ellis products labeled “100% chicken meal” may have instead contained poultry by-product meal, and Blue Buffalo took to the Internet in an open letter to its customers once it found out.
Pet food labeling (and mislabeling) is still, and likely will remain, a hot topic.
A survey by Purina conducted in September 2015 showed that nearly half of dog owners surveyed agree choosing the right food for their dog is the most difficult part of pet ownership. A recent blog on www.petfoodindustry.com by Debbie Phillips-Donaldson pointed out that “that is a lot of confused, overwhelmed dog owners, even if you don’t extrapolate the 900 participating in the online survey to the 46.3 million dog-owning households in the US.”
The blog mentions that a good starting point to helping pet owners choose the right food for their pet might be to improve pet food labels, better explaining exactly what’s in the food and how it might benefit pets. This this year, the Pet Food Institute (PFI) convened a task force to explore that concept.
Whether it’s concerns that labels may not be correct or labels that can help pet owners make better purchasing decisions, pet food labeling will remain important in today’s market.