Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Blue Buffalo Is Preparing to Lose

On May 6, 2015 Blue Buffalo’s admitted to the court that a “substantial” and “material” portion of Blue Buffalo pet food sold to consumers contained poultry byproduct meal, despite advertising claims to the contrary.

To put it in plain talk: Shit-tons of dog food have been sold by Blue Buffalo that contained EXACTLY what they said it did NOT contain (poultry byproduct meal), and the company had NO IDEA what it was selling, had NO ONE at the plant where it was being produced, and did NO TESTING of their product to confirm what they were selling was what they were delivering, EVEN WHEN TOLD it was adulterated.

For those coming in late to this story, a man who used to sell such notable health products as cigarettes and sodas, decided to enter the dog food market which is loaded with low-information gullibles who know no science, have no understanding of nutrition, and who want to prove they are “smarter” and “better” people because they lay down a lot of cash for dog food with magic words printed on the side of the sack. The magic words change from brand to brand scam to scam, but may include “natural,” “holistic,” “organic,” “human-grade” or “grain-free.”

William Bishop, the fellow who invented “Blue Buffalo” got it right: people are idiots, and he got rich as a consequence. Blue Buffalo made $750 million in sales in 2013.

After Blue Buffalo’s May 6th confession to the court, Purina spokesperson Keith Schopp noted that Blue Bufflalo still had not informed consumers of the presence of poultry byproduct meal in Blue Buffalo dog food, refused to accept responsibility for the product they sold, and continued to blame its suppliers as if Blue Buffalo itself had nothing to do with making or selling the dog food.

Blue Buffalo now claims it had no way of knowing the bags contained byproduct meal. A manufacturer is responsible for knowing what’s in its product, and a simple audit of its supply chain would have revealed what we discovered after reviewing the documentation… Blue Buffalo owes consumers an apology for all the false statements, false labels and false advertising. More than this, it is time for Blue Buffalo to be transparent with the public and prove to their ‘pet parents’ that no mislabeled product remains on shelves.

For its part, Blue Buffalo continues to bloviate and assume American dog food consumers are stupid. Any why not? William Bishop has made millions of dollars betting that way in the past, and why would he change a winning game now?

And so, if we go over to the Blue Buffalo web site we find the company calling the facts they already have admitted to in court a “smear campaign” when they are repeated by others. And yet, we also find that Blue Buffalo admits that a “substantial proportion of its shipments” were, in fact, adulterated and mislabeled and that a “material amount” of their dry dog food was sold with lies.

In an effort to pay the fines, penalties, damages, and courts costs they now KNOW they are now going to have to pay, Blue Buffalo has asked the court to add their contract dog food manufacturer to the case as a defendant.

Bottom line: Blue Buffalo is EXACTLY what I have always said it was: a “lick and stick” dog food company that did not make its own food, had no one at the plant over-seeing production, and who sold its product untested with a marketing campaign based on lies, disinformation, fear-mongering, and clever graphics.

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