While the jar on the left is 35% less full than the jar on the right, it has the exact same weight of product in it. This is the difference between high quality, meat-rich diets, and cheap, least-cost formulated foods.
You see, at Muenster, we have fixed recipes and a deep ethical conviction that dogs need to eat diets high in protein & fat, yet low in carbohydrates. We don’t compromise this for profit, because more importantly to us, the health of the dog comes first.
When you look at the jar on the right, you see different colors, different shapes and anything else that can be done to distract you from the fact that you just bought a bag of marketing garbage.
What is “least-cost”? Well, it’s when you can manufacture about 50 varieties of a recipe and still be in line with the ingredient listings on the back of the bag. This is why a lot of these companies do a few things:
1.) They use a ton of different ingredients in the food. This gives them a lot of flexibility. Ingredients are listed in order by weight, and if they’re the same weight, they can be listed in any order. Many of the larger companies are able to arrange their ingredients in a way that allows them to adjust levels of things like corn gluten, rice bran, and wheat midds in order to keep their price low.
2.) They have a committed price to national chains for 12-18 months in many cases. They aren’t concerned with ingredient prices changing because they’ll just substitute something cheaper.
3.) I’ve heard so many times that some of these larger companies are better because they have 20-50 nutritionists….Well, there’s a great reason for that too. If you don’t have a fixed, tried and true recipe, you need that many nutritionists to keep your food cheap. They simply exist to constantly modify the recipes in order to create a cheaper version of the food that still hits the ingredient listing, yet also provides them the margin they need.
Funny story to go along with this experiment….As a joke, I ate some of our Chicken and Pork recipe on the left and said, whoa….not bad…..
Then, I tried the food on the right, and holy crap….it tasted like cheese cracker, I was impressed, it was delightful, until my ears started itching like crazy within seconds. You see, I have a gluten allergy, and I completely took for granted that I knew our foods were 100% safe for me to eat, and didn’t pause to consider the food from this National Brand may have wheat in it…..well, it did, and today, I feel terrible because of it.
Also, dog food shouldn’t taste like a cheese cracker, it should taste like meat!
RECAP: the food on the left (Muenster) was made with the dog in mind, the food on the right was made with the shareholder in mind.