What The Big Corporations Would Rather You Didn’t Know….Part II of V

Categories:Pet Food
Nancy Secrist

Learning To decipher the ingredients label for the best petfood value and quality ingredients brings us to the Great Grain Shuffle as the next deceptive tactic. A typical label may list corn gluten, corn germ, corn middlings, or other fractional components of corn or another grain. So why list them separately?

The order of ingredients is determined by weight and every pet food manufacturer knows the food sells better if meat is listed as the first ingredient. But meat costs more money and consumers want a good price too. If there are 25 parts of meat and 40 parts grain, that grain would be listed first:
1) grain
2) meat.

So let’s keep the same weight of grain but split it up into
A) gluten (the main part of the kernel) at 20 parts,
B) hull (the fibrous coat) at 12 parts, and
C) germ (the sprout or plant embryo) at 8 parts.
Now the order of ingredients would be 1) meat 2) gluten 3) hull 4) germ. This food will
now sell for a higher price without adding more expensive meat.

Here’s another way to do the same thing; once again meat will be #1:
A) Rice (10 parts)
B) Wheat (10 parts)
C) Barley (10 parts)
D) Corn (10 parts)
We, the consumer, are willing to pay more for a food with meat in the first position. We come along and are misled to believe that there is more meat than grain in this pet food. We like the price because it is less than a food that really does have more meat. We purchase it–and so we have been deceived. Our pet will still not be getting the nutrition we set out to buy for them.

Coming up in Part III–
Marketing Magic or How to Make an Average Petfood Look Good Enough to Buy