Saturday, May 19, 2007


You'd fall asleep in your food too if it was made like this.
I'm posting an article today about a company I think is the world's largest retail pet food supplier. And I'm hopping mad, too. Marketing, i.e., selling crap to the public with tame "scientists or professionals" praising it is a time worn (not honored) ploy. Having spent a number of years in advertising, I recognize hype and "close to the truth" bull. I made a pretty good living at it, too. But I never mislead the public deliberately.
Sadly, I am warning all the cat and dog owners about this revolting development in profit making.
That's right Profit Making. Not Improvements.
Apparently Purina (and who knows what other companies) noted that the "prestige pet foods" were cutting into their markets a bit. Now, these "prestige" manufacturers tried to sell their product to the humans who bought the food for their pets. (They all do, its just that prestige manufacturers were better at it. And they sold it for more money than Purina and companies peddled their product.)
Here's how (in an imaginative scenario) the big change might have gone at Purina.
The CEO examined the company sales, noticed that the up curve wasn't as sharp as it had been and called in his "team".
Sales Department said: "Well, these prestige companies are picking up more sales than we thought they would."
Research Department said: "We have a better product. It suits the carnivores dietary needs just fine."
Chief Financial Officer's Department said: "We're still making a good profit. Maybe it could be improved a bit by changing the formula."
Scientific Department (composed of in house veterinarians) said: "Let us re-check our formulas. Maybe we can find a way to cut corners."
Sales Department added: "It would be easier to sell to humans if we had an angle."
Advertising Department said: "We can spin doctor anything. Give us something and we'll sell it."
Sales smiled. Research frowned. CFO thought of more profit. Scientific looked afraid. The CEO thought about a new yacht and the Cadillacs his wife and kids wanted.
Finally, he spoke. "Ladies and Gentlemen we need a better profit line for the stock market. Go after these prestige food makers and beat them at their own game."
Meeting adjourned.
Much discussion and examination in Scientific. Much studying of the opposition's formulas. The tame vets came up with a new formula for the pet food. It wasn't what was really needed by the animals, but it sure as hell would make more money.
New meeting of the team.
The new pet formulas were shown to all those assembled.
Advertising immediately planned how they would promote the product. "We won't tell anyone."
Sales said: "Now we can take back a bigger market share. We'll show them we're even better than the prestige brands."
CFO smiled and smiled.
The CEO picked up the phone and ordered the new yacht and three new Cadillacs.
And that, ladies and gentlemen is how our carniverous cats and dogs came to being fed pet food whose primary ingredient is corn. Yes, corn.
Ignoring the domesticated vets whose income comes from Purina, I remember studying a particular idiosyncrasy while at Uni. Although you and I are quite capable of living well from a diet of fruits, vegetables and a little meat, certains animals do NOT do well on these diets. I have seen no reports from zoos that they have taken to feeding corn to their lions and tigers and wolves and coyotes. I have yet to hear from Kansas that dogs are running wild in the corn fields eating the ears off the stalks.
My advice? Read the labels on the bags and cans of pet food you are buying for your furry loves. Check out the ingredients. A little grass or insignificant amounts of oats will help them. Large quantities are not designed for their digestive systems. They cannot be good for their health nor well being. Click on the title to see Purina's brands and ingredients.
I can remember, living in Australia, that we bought kangaroo meat for our carnivores. From a butcher shop licensed to sell it. They lived long and happy lives, too.
"Products are made in the factory,but brands are created in the mind."— Walter Landor

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