Don’t Be Fooled: Blue Buffalo and Other Kibble Companies

Don’t Be Fooled: Blue Buffalo and Other Kibble Companies

The seed for this article was planted one morning while I was watching the news. A Blue Buffalo commercial came on. It showed the owner, his family, heart-broken that their beloved Blue died from lack of a good diet. That was their inspiration for BB: provide healthy food for all pets so owners can avoid the pain the idyllic BB family experienced.

This kind of dishonestly boils my blood. They’re the farthest thing from a family that wants to do the best for pets. The company is actually made-up of opportunistic execs eager to make a great deal of money on the backs of pet owners who want to love and enjoy their healthy fur-family for as long as possible. Pet owners believe the marketing, putting their trust and their pet’s lives in the hands of this company based on what they’re told in the ads.

One sure-fire warning flag that a product is poor from the advertising. A bag of kibble costs a few dollars to produce. The printed bag probably costs a good portion of the whole cost of the bag of food. Sexy packaging combined with a darkening of the airwaves with ads convincing you to believe the message of health, trust the product and ignore any doubts are all signs. Essentially the more a company has to spend to convince you the product is good, the more you need to be aware, because it probably isn’t.

I looked into the Blue Buffalo backstory a couple of years ago. The article at the end of this captures what I dug up without too much effort.

At least twice a week I hear from pet owners who feel like they’re feeding their dog or cat the best by paying more for Blue Buffalo. When, in fact, it’s one of the worst foods out there to feed your pet quality-wise. If you want other reasons, look up their recalls and being caught red-handed in deceptions.

In almost every respect, Blue Buffalo is the antithesis of Fetching Foods. From living up to their philosophy, a large company (from the start), the quality of the food, customer service, integrity, and more. The likes of BB was a source of our inspiration to start Fetching Foods.

Here are a couple of paragraphs from an incisive article from the site about Blue Buffalo, click here if you’d like to read it:

“Contrary to its carefully cultivated reputation for authenticity, Blue Buffalo’s advertising campaign, as it turns out, was built on a claim that should have been verified. And the image of the little family run business up against Big Pet Food isn’t exactly accurate either: Blue Buffalo is, in fact, owned by a big Wall Street firm and they outsource all their manufacturing, as do most pet food manufacturers.

Started in 2002, Blue Buffalo was propelled by advertising techniques Bill Bishop honed as an ad man on Madison Avenue where he ran ad campaigns for for brands such as Kool-Aid, Tang, Tareyton cigarettes (“I’d rather fight than switch”), and later SoBe, a beverage company he co-founded in the 1990s. Blue Buffalo last year racked up an impressive $1 billion in sales, making it America’s fastest-growing major purveyor of pet food and the largest specializing in the all-natural kibble niche.

Bishop realized that getting into the pet food market by starting small with contract manufacturers making the product was a no-brainer and that all one had to do was, “Slap on a good label, come up with a slogan, and off you go.” He already knew it would be a cinch to pull the wool over consumer’s eyes, because, as he said, “There were already a lot of smoke and mirrors in how pet food was advertised, and that was the sort of stuff we were good at.””

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