Nestle Purina Petcare Co’s Beggin’ dog treats may fool dogs into thinking they are mostly made of real bacon, but a federal lawsuit claims that humans are gettin’ fooled too. Even Nestle Purina admits that they think pet parents are fools to believe the ads, saying:
“The notion that anyone would actually think we’re selling bacon is nonsense.”
The proposed class action filed Tuesday by pet parent Paul Kacocha of Dutchess County, New York, said he and other dog owners paid a premium for popular Beggin’ products, assuming, of course, that they were actually made mostly of real bacon, when in fact the meat is only a microscopic portion of the pet treats.
Made with real filler!
Kacocha said customers were duped by how the treats looked, smelled and resembled actual bacon – and the name “Beggin” even sounds like “bacon” – despite being made primarily of filler (aka crap) ingredients. Yet, the packaging prominently touts a picture of real bacon and proclaims the treats are “made with real bacon!” according to the lawsuit.
The ads claim:
They smell like smokin’ sizzling bacon. Taste like savory, meaty bacon. Heck they’re even MADE WITH REAL BACON!
But alas, bacon is but a teensy-weensy, itsy-bitsy part of the product, tenth on the list of ingredients, behind wheat, corn, and more wheat, and more corn, sugar and corn syrup, among other crap:
Ground wheat, corn gluten meal, wheat flour, water, ground yellow corn, sugar, glycerin, soybean meal, hydrogenated corn syrup, bacon (preserved with sodium nitrite), salt, bacon fat (preserved with BHA and citric acid), meat, phosphoric acid, sorbic acid (a preservative), calcium propionate (a preservative), natural and artificial smoke flavors, Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6, added color. S-4005
Yet, on Purina’s website they proudly announce in the Ingredients & Nutrients section, just a single sentence: Made with real bacon.
One well-known Beggin’ commercial that has aired on national television featured a dog jumping on his owner asking, “Where is it? Where’s the bacon?” That ad, the lawsuit said, is “an ironic, though unintended metaphor for this entire case.”
The lawsuit seeks to represent all consumers who purchased the treats in New York state, and is asking for an unspecified amount of damages. It says Nestle Purina violated state consumer-protection laws against false and deceptive advertising.
You just don’t get it
Purina spokesman Keith Schopp said in a statement the company has always been transparent and accurate in its advertising, marketing and packaging:
“The notion that anyone would actually think we’re selling bacon is nonsense,” he said. “Consumers get it, and dogs love it.”
I don’t know what is more insulting, Purina’s assumption that consumers should know they’re being lied to or the ones that don’t are idiots for not “getting it” and believing their false and misleading ads?
Beggin’ for filler!
St. Louis-based Nestle Purina Petcare is a subsidiary of Nestle SA, and is the largest U.S. pet food company on the planet. The company sells a range of Beggin’ varieties, including Beggin’ Strips Bacon, Beggin’ Thick Cut Hickory Smoked Flavor and Beggin’ Collisions Bacon, Egg & Cheese.
The lawsuit, Kacocha v. Nestle Purina Petcare Company, was filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, case No. 15-5489.
Poisoned Pets | Pet Food Safety News remains free (and ad-free) and takes me hundreds of hours a month to research and write, and thousands of dollars to sustain.
If you find any joy and value in what I do, please consider a donation of your choosing, between a bag of human-edible fish cat teats ($13) and a small box of human-edible cat food ($25).