Most of us have seen the funny commercials with the handsome golden retriever that’s searching the house for bacon. He knows he can smell it, he just can’t find it; until his owner pulls out a bag of Beggin’ Strips, that is. Beggin’ Strips claim to be the dog treat that tastes so much like bacon your dog will never know the difference, but one dog owner isn’t so sure.
A new federal lawsuit has been filed in Manhattan claiming that Nestlé Purina Petcare Company, the makers of Beggin’ Strips, is ripping of its loyal customers by marketing the dog treats in a misleading way. Paul Kacocha, 59, says the dog treats are advertised as containing lots of real bacon, when they actually only have a very small amount.
RELATED: Dog Nutrition: What Do Dogs Eat
Kacocha sued the pet food giant after he purchased Beggin’ Strips dog treats for his West Highland terriers, Sophie and Tyler, because he was under the impression that bacon was the main ingredient in the treats. The suit states the name Beggin’ is designed to sound virtually the same as bacon when spoken out loud. The suit claims that this marketing strategy is deceptive.
The issue is that bacon is only the tenth largest ingredient in the treats. The top ingredients are actually wheat, sugar, and soy. A spokesperson from Nestlé Purina Petcare Company says that the company has always been transparent and accurate in their advertising and the packaging of their products.
Currently Nestlé Purina is in another legal battle over false advertising. This one is actually a suit that the company brought against rival pet food manufacturer Blue Buffalo Co. Ltd. The suit was filed by Purina back in May of 2014 and it accuses Blue Buffalo of misleading customers by claiming that their “True Blue Promise” brand pet foods do not contain poultry by-products.
Nestlé Purina Petcare Company claims that they had the products tested by an independent laboratory which found significant amounts of chicken or poultry by-products in the pet food. In May of 2015 Blue Buffalo filed a third-party complaint against its suppliers Wilbur-Ellis Co. and Diversified Ingredients Inc. They are trying to pin the alleged adulteration on them, saying that they have been passing off by-products as more expensive chicken and turkey meal.
With all the lawsuits, recalls, and canine illnesses stemming from poor-quality products, it is no wonder pet owners are taking a stand about the way that companies are advertising. It is this mistrust in large pet food manufacturers that is fostering the growth of smaller companies with completely transparent production methods.