The Blue Buffalo Company today formally filed a countersuit against Nestle Purina in response to Purina’s claims that the pet food company was using false advertising, mislabeling products containing grains as grain-free, and claiming that their products contained no by-products despite a Purina-hired analyst finding poultry by-products in their pet food.
Blue Buffalo vehemently denies all claims by the pet food giant and is now countersuing on grounds of defamation, unfair competition, false advertising and trade-practice violations.
Blue Buffalo’s Founder & Chairman Bill Bishop wrote the following letter to pet parents to explain:
Dear Pet Parents,
I just wanted to let you know that today we formally addressed Nestle Purina’s unfounded attack on Blue Buffalo’s integrity and product quality by filing a lawsuit against this multinational giant. In our lawsuit we demand that Nestle Purina be held accountable for their actions, and that they stop their carefully orchestrated P.R. campaign designed to erode the trust that pet parents place in our BLUE brand. Product quality has always been at the center of everything we do at Blue Buffalo, so we are not about to let Nestle Purina make derogatory and unsubstantiated claims about our company, our people and our products.
Legal technicalities may allow them to refuse to provide any details about their so called “independent” research, but the simple truth is that a product reflects the ingredients it is made with, and I can assure you that we’ve never purchased one kernel of corn or one ounce of poultry by-product meal…two ingredients that Nestle Purina claims to have found in our food.
Unlike Nestle, who has a history of favoring litigation over fair and open competition, this is not the way Blue Buffalo likes to do business. We’d much prefer an environment of transparency in which pet parents know the ingredients of every pet food, and decide for themselves which one they want to feed their dog or cat. This is exactly why Blue Buffalo’s advertising urges pet parents to compare ingredients, and why our products are only available in pet specialty stores, where an owner, manager or store associate is capable of providing shoppers with educated guidance on brand selection.
Nestle Purina, on the other hand, believes in “happy dog” advertising and is focused on selling their products in grocery and discount stores where no knowledgeable sales associate is available, and where impulse purchases are driven by pretty package designs that avoid the truth of what’s actually in the bag. Their Beneful brand is a great example of this type of sleight of hand, as the front of the bag features real beef, chicken or fish, while the ingredient listing features corn and chicken by-product meal as the leading ingredients…but, to be fair, salmon finally shows up as the 6th ingredient listed on their Beneful Healthy Radiance dog food…right after animal fat!
While the courts will be handling this matter in a deliberate way, we intend to remain very proactive in defending our company’s integrity and our product quality. The truth is on Blue Buffalo’s side, and we’re not about to let Nestle Purina’s big-time PR team spin their false claims without responding.
All of us at Blue Buffalo appreciate your continued support, and we love hearing how well your pets are doing on our BLUE foods. That’s the kind of proof that money can’t buy.
May the Buff be with you,
Founder and Chairman
Nestle Purina continues to stand behind their claims and denies these allegations against them.