This class action alleges that Blue Buffalo used false advertising for its dog food and cat food, claiming not to use certain ingredients that were, in fact, found in the food.
The class for this class action includes all persons in Massachusetts who purchased Blue Buffalo brand dog or cat food during the four-year period preceding the filing of the complaint.
The complaint alleges that Blue Buffalo advertised its products under what it called the True Blue Promise, which claims that Blue Buffalo pet foods never contain chicken or poultry by-product meals, corn or soy proteins, or artificial preservatives. It claims that Blue Buffalo charged a higher price for its products on this basis.
According to the complaint, Blue Buffalo claims to be the leader in premium, quality, all-natural pet foods and has targeted its products at ingredient-conscious pet owners. The complaint alleges that the True Blue Promise, pledging that Blue Buffalo Products never include chicken or poultry by-product meals, never include corn, wheat or soy proteins, or artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, is pervasive, and is found on or in its website, its packaging, its commercials and print ads, and its in-store displays.
For example, the complaint alleges, on the Blue Buffalo website, within the “What’s In Our Food and Why” section is a subsection entitled, “What’s Not in BLUE and Why.” That subsection includes the following statement: “At Blue Buffalo we use ‘Chicken Meal’ or ‘Turkey Meal’ made from the whole meat of the birds, not by-products. Poultry or chicken by-product meals cost a lot less than meals made from whole meat. At Blue Buffalo, we think the cost is well worth it to know exactly what’s in our food.”
In fact, the complaint alleges, independent testing has revealed that the Blue Buffalo Products actually contain both chicken and poultry by-product meal and artificial preservatives including perhaps BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, propylene glycol -- and the company has already admitted that its products contain chicken and poultry by-product meal.
According to the complaint, some of these admissions were already brought forth in a previous lawsuit against the company, Nestle Purina Petcare Company v. The Blue Buffalo Company Ltd., 4:14-cv-00859-RWS. For example, the complaint says, the case quoted emails between Blue Buffalo’s suppliers and contractors or agents reveal that Blue Buffalo contracted to purchase “Chicken Meal Blend and Turkey Meal Blend,” not whole chicken or turkey: “[Y]ou have asked me to ship you chicken meal and turkey meal. Our current contracts are for Chicken Meal Blend and Turkey Meal Blend and as you are aware, both of these contain some by-product meal.”
The complaint therefore alleges that Blue Buffalo has violated consumer protection laws in Massachusetts.
Blue Buffalo has not responded to this complaint. We will update the status of this case in December, 2015.