The Dog Food Company Monopoly and why your dogs eat grain.
This is a story of market dominance and how a carnivore began to get fed so much grain, that people actually believed that it was good for them !
For any regulatory organisation (aafco) to be controlled by profit companies, they would have to have a lot of money at their disposal for lobbying. And yes they do.
The dog food companies would have to spend many BILLIONS each year on advertising to make their subversive intentions mainstream. And they do. They would have to use a lot of images of puppies and dogs having happy times with their owners on all their advertising.
People would have to get too busy working or looking at their smart phone to look up and just wonder what happened.
We are well past that point.
We have told this news many times before but we once again would like to remind owners of the impact that global behemoth companies have on your dog’s health. The pervasive nature of these massive companies are the very reason that most owners don’t know that their dogs need a meat based diet, so they don’t bother with buying meat based dog treats as a supplement either.
Definition of Monopoly (the Business directory)
“Market situation where one producer (or a group of producers acting in concert) controls supply of a good or service, and where the entry of new producers is prevented or highly restricted. Monopolist firms (in their attempt to maximize profits) keep the price high and restrict the output, and show little or no responsiveness to the needs of their customers.
Most governments therefore try to control monopolies by (1) imposing price controls, (2) taking over their ownership (called ‘nationalization’), or (3) by breaking them up into two or more competing firms. Sometimes governments facilitate the creation of monopolies for reasons of national security, to realize economies of scale for competing internationally, or where two or more producers would be wasteful or pointless (as in the case of utilities).”
So if it was true that one or maybe three companies controlled the bulk of dog food in the world, wouldn’t the American government (aafco the dog food regulation company Australia follows is based in America) be concerned about that?
What if government policies of privatisation and capitalism at all costs were so pervasive that they just didn’t care. Because business and shareholder wealth is about profit, and country GDP NOT dog health as such.
Why dogs eat grain and not meat
It has never been about health, and dogs in the wild never eat substantial amounts of grain. Its all about the money. Grain is MUCH cheaper to make than meat, and profit driven companies can make much more profit from grain.
How much money can a dog food company spend on promotion?
The usual guide has been up to 10% of revenue on promotion. Not just advertising, but promotion means lobbyist costs, and expensive meals and holidays. All at your dog’s expense.
If you consider the potential promotion budget of the top three companies (below) that would be 10% x $36 billion = $3.6 Billion. That’s a lot of lobbying (affco), advertising and company purchasing power.
How do the dominant companies get so large
When you are part of an oligopoly (ie three main companies) and you control what people think dog food is, and you control the majority of the advertising, and often the sources of the food (grain contracts) you get to set many prices up and down stream.
That is how they got to buy out many of their competitors and seemingly have so many diverse brands. Acquisitions are so much easier than growing organically when you are big in a saturated market. It also gives you a whole stable of brands that looks so different, but often have the same food (from the same factories) in them, just different price points and packet colours.
You may think you are buying a great individual private brand, but chances are it belongs to one of the top three companies … and the source of the grain in it, is the same as most of the other brands they own.
How big are the top WORLD’S TOP 10 PET FOOD COMPANIES (ref 1) 2016
|Mars Petcare Inc.||United States||$17,224,400,000|
|Nestlé Purina PetCare||United States||$12,100,000,000|
|Big Heart Pet Brands||United States||$2,300,000,000|
|Hill’s Pet Nutrition||United States||$2,264,000,000|
|Blue Buffalo||United States||$1,149,778,000|
|Spectrum Brands / United Pet Group||United States||$800,000,000|
But surely these companies are not that big in the food industry?
It is true, that the dog food industry is dwarfed by the global human food and fizzy drink markets.
But of course the top two dog food companies are also two of the biggest human food and confectionary companies, globally.
Why does it matter that the dog food industry is dominated by only a few massive profit driven players?
Well if you remember that dogs evolved from wolves who are 95% carnivore and spend most of their waking life hunting for meat based food, you might understand how much that messes with the psychology of your dog, and their nutrition.
Grain and vegetables are great as fillers, and adding some vitamins and minerals, but they are lousy with bio available protein and carnivore appropriate fats for energy. BTW grains are also lousy at adding vitamins and minerals, that is why so many pharmaceutical companies get involved in the dog food industry.
Even though they use all that grain in the standard dog food, them make a lot of fuss about putting meat as the first ingredient on their ingredient list, then use ingredient splitting to make the bulk of the food grain or vegetable based. These filler foods essentially give your dog food pack its bulk and somewhere to place the pharmaceutical company minerals and vitamins (usually not from natural or bio available sources too).
We (healthy dog treats) sell meat based dog treats in the knowledge that meat is the most appropriate dog food on earth, but no one is really going to make the switch to being a raw feeder without knowing how to do that properly. The dog food (grain) ads and TV vets will continue making money from your dog,
All we can do is say that when you buy your dog treats through us, you know that they are getting the best REAL dog food supplements (meat) that money can provide – and gives them the best health outcomes at ANY stage in their dog lives.
The next article on this site looks at the undue influence of lobbyist such as grain and big dog food and pharmaceutical companies on what the affco standards become.