A new documentary that’s making the rounds suggests the pet food industry misinforms customers about what’s best for their pets’ nutrition, but is it accurate? According to Lindsay Beaton, the answer is, well, a bit complicated.
Pet Fooled, a 2016 documentary added to Netflix earlier this year, takes a critical look at the pet food industry and, specifically, the way pet foods are marketed to pet owners. Through interviews with veterinarians and nutrition experts, the film presents the notion that many of the pet foods currently on the market may not be the best choices for pets. Further, the film suggests that pet owners are ultimately left confused as to what they should be buying for their pets.
In a piece published to PetFoodIndustry.com, Lindsay Beaton suggests that, while pet food marketing isn’t intentionally misleading, it does follow consumer demand — even when those consumers are confused about what’s best for their pets.
“The pet food industry is not out to fool consumers. Pet owners see “real” and “natural” on their own food products and decide that their pets need the same types of options. The industry takes those consumer decisions into account, and so you have pet food packaging that looks more and more like what you see on your own grocery store shelves. Deceptive? No. Adaptive? Yes. Confusing and overwhelming? It can be, especially since consumer desires are becoming so nuanced, and the industry is trying so hard to cater to all those desires while maintaining the uncompromising nutritional standards necessary to keep the true customers — pets — happy and healthy.”
Beaton claims, as has been shown elsewhere, that the pet food industry is well aware of the problem of consumer confusion and has been actively working promote better education among consumers. Until pet owners have a clearer understanding of what foods and ingredients are best for their pets, poor choices in the pet food aisle are likely to persist.
Read Beaton’s full article here.