Sunday, August 3, 2008

Improved Flavor

Wednesday is Prince spaghetti day ... (Courtesy of Carolyn Diamond)

Do butterflies grow tired of eating the same old stuff day in and day out too? This one seems to have taken a shine to a little zest of pesto. There is nothing like some variety to spice up one's everyday fare. I bet the same is true of many animals and other forms of wildlife. Why else would rabbits flock to level your garden when all the world abounds in juicy greenery?

The experts who create so many delicious brands of pet food seem to be convinced of this as well. I just saw an ad that proclaimed "Sensory Pleasures" from Friskies. Now if only cats would speak English, we would be able to discover if this were a fact or a human marketing campaign.

Normally, I pay no more attention to the print on my dog's food bag while restocking her larder. I just look for the name of one or the other low priced brands she likes. I hate it when the store has a big sale before I get there. This means both brands will be completely gone and I will be forced to contemplate which is the lesser of the ridiculous prices per 18 pound bag.

This means one takes time to read past the words across the bottom of the bag. Its at moments like this that the on-a-mad-dash consumer is assaulted with the craftily designed packaging and marketing slogans. I never cease to wonder when it comes to the claims of dog food manufacturers.

20% Beefier than ever before!
New Improved Flavor!
Preferred by more Dogs!

Has someone surveyed them? Like are they serious? Dogs will eat road kill for crying out loud! The other day I was faced with having to survey what the vultures had left on the shelf in the dog food aisle. No one else was around me, that aisle was empty. As I stood there eying the least costly brand left in the 18 pound bag and not the misleading 16 pound size for the same price. I spied the words splashed across the photo in Godzilla Yellow ... 30% MORE FLAVOR!

I have a bad habit of talking to myself at times. So I spoke loudly to the inert bag of mysterious nuggets, "Really? Did you taste it to measure the improvement." This was met by a hearty chuckle from behind me. When I turned, the lady who had snuck up on me said, "I have often wondered the same thing."

Now granted, there is a difference in some types of dog food brands over others. The very cheapest off brands of dry pet food are shunned by most of our four footed friends. When barn cats and farm dogs turn their nose up at dinner you know there is something amiss. These critters hunt fresh meat and enjoy road kill on a regular basis. Animals can sense when things are off in the food presented. They will go without for days before they will eat some of the cheapest pet foods you can buy.

Then there are just too wonderful brands like Kibbles & Bits. These induce overeating in dogs that are used to a diet of more sensibly priced brands like Gravy Train. My dearly loved BubbaLoo could go through 18 pounds of Kibbles & Bits in less than 4 days. Sadie was not allowed to eat unless I locked him out of the house to feed her. He demanded more and more until the bag was empty. Dam dog ... I sorely miss him and his 130 pound package of silly slobbery love.

Extra sensory pleasure is not a good thing at times. Bubby acted like a kid on Halloween who could not stop indulging until there was no more chocolate left in the loot bag. The boy ate like a horse as it was - who could afford to keep him in Kibbles & Bits! See these types of pet food lure animals to over eat and are probably part of the reason that creates fat pets.

Either way all this improving the flavor is done for the shopper and not the animal. As long as it tastes edible dogs will eat anything. They can't read the bag and don't understand anything in the commercials beyond the presence of another dog in their house. Fifty percent more flavor my eye! If the dog eats it ... its all good. It is even more wonderful and tasty at $4.00 less per bag.

1 comment:

Lucy said...

Thank you for the wonderful and encouraging message you left recently on LOOSE AND LEAFY .

I enjoyed this post very much; partly because I agree with it (ridiculous claims, animals either not caring what they eat or eating too much . . . a while back in Britain, manufacturers of a particular brand of cat food were accused of introducing an addictive element into their products so cats would refuse to eat anything else once theirs had been tasted) but mostly because I enjoyed you talking to yourself in the shop.

I talk to packets. I talk to anyone who happens to be there if something on a packet or a public notice strikes me. I laugh out loud if something amuses me, even when I'm on my own. (Possibly especially when I'm on my own because I share my own sense of humour.)

Strangers don't usually mind - it's family who get embarassed when I start chatting to anyone and everyone about . . . ingredients . . . jingles . . .

(Have you seen the advert for a fairy playset for little girls which has a garble at the end saying 'The wand's not really magic'?)