Friday, August 28, 2020

400 Million Pounds of Dog Food a Year from Where?

Almost none of the boutique dog food labels actually make their own dog food.

These companies are simply "lick and stick" affairs that invent a dog food recipe, pay an advertising company to make up a label, and then contract out with a third-party manufacturer to fill up the bags. 

Another company is paid to market the dog food, and no one ever gets their hands dirty or even sees the product one month to the next. 

Feed trials? You must be kidding. That would cut into the profits. 

An example of a company that started this way is Blue Buffalo, whose founder used to market human junk food. 

William Bishop, Founder of "Blue Buffalo" dog food, told Bloomberg Businessweek:

You can get into the market small with contract manufacturers making the stuff. Slap on a good label, come up with a slogan, and off you go. 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.

“Contract manufacture” or “co-manufacture" is fancy-talk for "you make the crap while we lie about it in our ads and on the label." 

As the web site of the pet food processing industry notes

Often, pet food companies turn to C.J. Foods to solve the processing challenges created by the expectations of today’s consumers. C.J. Foods currently produces dry kibble for 35 of the top U.S. super-premium and ultra-premium brands. To meet the needs of its customers, C.J. Foods employs nearly 500 team members at its six processing plants — two in Pawnee City, Nebraska, two in Bern, Kansas, one in Baxter Springs, Kansas, and one in Brownwood, Texas — for a combined total of 620,000 sq. ft. of plant space from which the company produces more than 400 million lbs. per year of extruded pet foods and treats.  

400 million pounds a year!

Of course, CJ Foods is not the only company making “lick and stick” dog food. Diamond Dog Food also cranks out a lot of bagged kibble under a wide variety of labels, as does Mars Petcare, KLN Enterprise, Nestle, Proctor and Gamble, Simmons, Evanger, Elmira Pet Products, American Nutrition, Ainsworth, and the Berwind Corporation.

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