Consumers livid over Nestle-Purina acquisition of Merrick, Castor & Pollux, accusing them of selling out to Big Pet Food

Bye bye independent pet food brands, hello homogenization.

Nestle-Purina announced yesterday it’s gobbling up some of pet parents favorite niche pet food brands Merrick and Castor & Pollux. Merrick Pet Care said yesterday it has signed an agreement for Nestlé Purina PetCare Company to purchase the company.

Nestle-Purina, eyeing the growing demand for organic pet food, decided they wanted a piece of that lucrative pie, and swallowed up Merrick Pet Care, one of the fastest-growing natural and organic pet food companies in the industry.

The cherry on top of Merrick’s pet food pie for Nestle-Purina was Merrick’s portfolio of natural and organic pet food and treat brands, namely Castor & Pollux and its ORGANIX brand, along with Ultramix natural pet food, Good Buddy natural pet treats, as well as its Whole Earth Farms line.

In 2012, it was Merrick that gobbled up Castor & Pollux, when it was acquired by Merrick Pet Care to further expand its natural pet food line. That same year, Merrick’s facilities became certified by the USDA National Organic Program to manufacturer for both dry and canned food for pets.

Even though Merrick swears they will continue to operate as an independent business, with no planned changes to its management or operations, consumers aren’t having any of it.

Pissed, that Nestle-Purina, one of the most reviled pet food brands on the market, has just eaten up some of their most cherished pet food brands, has left a decidedly icky taste in their mouth.

Nestle-Purina probably didn’t foresee the fury it would cause pet parents who were once loyal, devoted consumers of Merrick, Castor & Pollux, and ORGANIX brands, who have taken to social media to ride them up one side and down the other for selling out to Big Pet Food, least of all a company as loathed as Nestle-Purina.

Consumers, once loyal to those brands, are dropping like flies, swearing on Merrick’s Facebook page and on Castor & Pollux’s Facebook page they will never to buy their food ever again. Ever.

I think it’s safe to say that Merrick and Castor & Pollux’s customers are pissed. These are just a few of the more choice comments:

“Way to flush the legacy down the toilet. I will make my own dog food before feeding something associated with the pet killing Purina again…Lost my business for sure.”

“This is sad news. We loved your products; so did my sister, cousins, and friends. I guess we will all be looking for quality product and Purina has not proven to be a quality product. Why are there so much quality organic company selling out to big name? I guess money talks and integrity is lost.”

“…once Nestlé Purina hold the reigns your company is shit and will no longer be trusted by consumers. Purina sources and makes food and treats in China…”

“Corporate greed over health as safety of our companions. No matter what you say Merrick, Nestle now owns you…”

“I’m hurt. We all know that the formula will change it’s just a matter of time. I will no longer be recommending Merrick or Whole Earth Farms foods to my clients…I bought my last bag from this company.”

“We will no longer be buying your product for my dog. Nestle is not a company I can support in any way. They do not support my right to know what is in their food. Their CEO does not think water is a human right and their dog food is crap.”

“Merrick why choose investors associated with dog food that was killing family pets? Surely if you are committed to continue making high quality food you could have found a more reputable company…”

“This is very disappointing news. Merrick might as well have been bought by McDonald’s…”

“…I won’t be surprised if your next announcement is that food will now be made in China. Good riddance.”

“HORRIBLE NEWS. I’ve been buying your dogfood for a long time and now I have to find something else. Sad to hear that such a fine company has sold out to corporate greed. This literally makes me feel like crying.”

In fact, I feel like crying too after reading the comments. In comment after comment consumers are in anguish, heartbroken even, at the utter disappointment that their brands sold out to Nestle-Purina.

Way to go Merrick, I think you just lost all of your most loyal customers.

Did you hear that swoosh?

That was Merrick’s reputation being flushed down the drain.

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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, the author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and consumer advisor. Help support her work by making a donation today.

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