Purina's acquisition of Merrick

Dog Food Advisor Forums Feedback and Suggestions Purina's acquisition of Merrick

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  • #77782 Report Abuse

    Lazaro B
    Member

    I had a live chat with a guy from Purina about the acquisition of MERRICK and its brand Whole Earth Farms. I asked if Purina was going to change any of the ingredients in the MERRICK dog food and Whole Earth and he said they were not because MERRICK is an independent company under Purina. MERRICK still has its employees in Texas and I think Illinois and MERRICK had plans on changing the ingredients in there dog food anytime soon. Purina acquired MERRICK so MERRICK could expand globally with its dog food.

    I read the small reports on the Purina website about them acquiring MERRICK, seems legit. I think MERRICK will be ok even though it is with Purina.

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by  Lazaro B.
    #77788 Report Abuse

    Lazaro B
    Member

    What do you all think? Do you think Nerrick and WEF are gonna be fine?

    #77789 Report Abuse

    crazy4cats
    Member

    I finally found a food that my dogs do very well on that is affordable and easily available in my area. I’m sticking with both dry and wet WEF unless I start to see changes in it. Like I’ve stated before, Purina already dominates the grocery store type foods. I don’t think it would benefit them to lower Merrick’s standards. I certainly hope they are gonna be fine!!

    #77793 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    I’m not worried about Purina changing Merrick or Whole Earth Farms. I intend to continue using the canned Whole Earth Farms and possibly the dry as well for my cat. My dog eats Fromm, so he’s of no concern with this.

    Purina bought the treat company Zuke’s a few years back and has yet to change the recipe.

    #77795 Report Abuse

    Lazaro B
    Member

    With Zukes treat company, I wonder if there is a clause in the contract that states Purina is not allowed to change the ingredients ever. Hopefully there is. Just glad to hear that MERRICK still has control over there brands and not Purina.

    #77796 Report Abuse

    aquariangt
    Member

    I actually heard some murmuring about the level of kickback zukes got possibly reversing that decision. Can’t find anything online about it, just from within the dog world and i live in colorado so there are people close to the center of the situation.

    Gotta say, the sketchiest part of purina getting involved is quality. Recipe changes don’t tell us everything. Sure, when Nat Bal sold their treats got all kinds of crap added and it was obvious that things changed, but Purina will absolutely be pushing to raise profit margins, and that most likely means lowering costs.

    #77812 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    As far as I’ve heard from people who have asked Purina, they source from the USA.

    #77816 Report Abuse

    Lazaro B
    Member

    If Purina sources from the USA, why are there dog and cat foods so bad? You’d think they would put a little more effort into making there products better, but, nope.

    #77817 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    Because sourcing from the USA doesn’t mean they will choose quality ingredients and leave out the junk. However, if they leave Merrick and WEF the same and continue sourcing from the US like Merrick Pet Care did, there is no cause for concern about the quality being lowered.

    Main point is, there are a lot of choices of food out there. If you don’t feel comfortable feeding Merrick or WEF because of the chance that Purina might mess with the recipe or the sourcing, it’s easy to find something the mimics those brands.

    It’s of my own accord that I will continue to use WEF for my cat. It’s working well for her and I don’t feel like changing til I have to. It also works well for my budget.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by  Pitlove.
    #77820 Report Abuse

    Lazaro B
    Member

    Finding a food your pet loves and a food that fits into your budget are important. I do the same.

    #77828 Report Abuse

    Dog_Obsessed
    Member

    Not only can there be bad ingredients within the USA, but any claim saying that pet food is manufactured in or sourced from the USA can potentially be sketchy. A company could send the food to China or another company with bad standards for manufacturing, even if it is sourced from the USA, or vice versa. Purina had some issues with their chicken jerky treats that suggested they were sourced and/or manufactured in China, so I don’t know how much I’d trust their “USA” claims.

    #77830 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    Yes, thats true about Purina’s jerky situation. It was also true for Dogswell and others. I do believe that Purina stated that their jerky was sourced from China back then and I do believe they admit that their vitamin pack is sourced from China as well. For me that would be the main cause for concern with Merrick/WEF. If they started sourcing the vitamin pack from China, I would probably find another food.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by  Pitlove.
    #77833 Report Abuse

    Dog_Obsessed
    Member

    Yes, and I like that way of putting it. I feel weird using any food that is owned by Purina though, so I probably won’t be including Merrick or WEF in my rotation anytime soon, but there probably wouldn’t be much harm in doing so if Purina really isn’t going to make any changes to it.

    #77834 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    If Merrick/WEF was never apart of your rotation, then really you can’t miss what you never had. I know Crazy4Cats dogs are doing really well on WEF and she does not want to change them unless she has to. But for those that don’t feed Merrick and don’t care to, theres so many equal or better foods out there thankfully.

    #77839 Report Abuse

    C4D
    Member

    I loved using Merrick’s canned food, but only occaisonally used the dry. I also used to use Zukes and fed Evo when it was owned by Naturapet. From my experience, within a few months of P&G taking over Naturapet there were many people complaining about dogs having stomach upset and GI problems all over the internet. I have many friends in the dog world and some who did have some issues with Evo as well. I had stopped feeding Evo just a week before the buyout, simply because I had to drop it from my dog’s rotation to bring her weight down. As a result, I never had a personal experience with it, but I’m very wary of Big Guy buyouts. I haven’t bought Zukes since the buyout either. I’m currently on hold with Merrick just because of past history when the Big Guys take over the small companies. So that’s my take on it.

    #77840 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    I used EVO well after the buyout and had no problems. Could have been a bad lot.

    #77845 Report Abuse

    C4D
    Member

    Ahhh, to be young and hopeful. I used to feed Evo and Orijen in rotation along with several other really good brands. Evo was easily an equivalent food to Orijen in quality and price. It was family owned by Naturapet and even carried by veterinarians. I decided to pull it out of my rotation due to my dog’s weight gain and injury. It was sold off shortly after that to P&G. Within a few months, many people in the dog business (breeders, show people, etc) as well as others were complaining on the internet about their dogs having problems with Evo (as well as the other Naturapet products). Naturapet never had a recall in the entire family history, yet P&G had a massive recall within 3 years of acquiring the company. Here’s just a bit of the history in links:

    Link for buyout & brief Naturapet history. Please note that in the first link, the wording is very similar to what Purina and Merrick said about the buyout:

    http://news.pg.com/press-release/pg-corporate-announcements/pg-acquires-natura-pet-products

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/05/06/procter-and-gamble-natura-pet-products/

    Assurance the product won’t change:
    http://groovycatsndogs.com/proctor_gamble_buys_natura_pet_products/

    1st recall info:
    http://poisonedpets.com/natura-recall-california-natural-innova-evo-innova-healthwise-pet-foods-for-salmonella-contamination/

    Many years ago, I also used to feed my new puppy Iams (you were a child back then). It was considered a very good food many years. I was pleasantly surpised (I thought) to find it available at walmart a few years later. A friend who bred, showed and trained dogs told me Iams was not what it used to be. We all know it isn’t.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/12/business/procter-gamble-is-buying-maker-of-premium-pet-food.html

    History of Iams:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iams

    History of Ekanuba:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eukanuba

    They all say how they’re going to bring their wonderful product to the “next level”. The next level for all of these companies seems to be a step down. It certainly was for Iams, Eukanuba, Naturapet. Innova was one of the flagship foods that people loved. It doesn’t exist anymore since Mars took over. Sorry Pitlove, I’m older and much more doubtful and will definitely say goodbye to Merrick for now. I’ve already let Naturapet become a fond but bittersweet memory. And Zukes is history for me too.

    #77847 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    I don’t know that my age has anything to do with whether or not my dog did fine on EVO after the buyout.

    As I’ve said, no one is forced to use the old NaturaPet brands, Iams, Merrick or any other brand if they don’t feel comfortable. No one has to support Purina if they don’t want to. And if someone wants to continue use of the food until a change is made that is their choice as well.

    #77864 Report Abuse

    C4D
    Member

    Pitlove, my whole point is not to chastise you, but to make you wary of corporate claims. The old Naturapet no longer exists.

    #77865 Report Abuse

    Lazaro B
    Member

    I had no idea Eukanuba made Pedigree. I thought Pedigree was made by Purina. C4D, since you fed Iams to your dog many years ago, would you happen to remember at least a couple of the ingredients of the ?Iams of back then? Did it contain the ingredients of today? For many years, I always thought PEDIGREE, PURINA DOG CHOW AND PUPPY CHOW, KIBBLES N BITS, ALPO, THAT DOG FOOD THAT LOOKED LIKE HAMBURGER MEAT, that came in a box and each box had multiple pouches of it. It looked like it was made out of play dough, I thought all those foods were top of the line because of the ingredients Like corn and by products. Nowadays, I know there not.

    #77866 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    C4D, I am wary of them. But I’m not going to be one of those crazed people returning my cans of WEF that I purchased before the buyout. I actually did start looking into other foods for my kitty just in case because I wanted to be prepared to have to switch her.

    also yes i know the old NaturaPet products don’t exist anymore, I should have said the former NaturaPet products

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by  Pitlove.
    #77874 Report Abuse

    C4D
    Member

    Hi Lazaro,

    Technically Eukauba does not make Pedigree. Mars is a huge corporation that makes Pedigree. Procter and Gamble originally owned Iams and Eukanuba, along with other brands and sold most of it’s pet food division to Mars last year:

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304058204579491271373975640

    Purina has never owned Pedigree. I fed Iams about 20 years ago and there were no dog food rating sites I was aware of at the time. I don’t think I ever thought to read through the ingredients, etc. I think most of the dog food sites started about 15 years ago. I used thedogfoodproject.com and dogfoodanalysis.com before DFA came on the scene. Before these sites came on the internet, I think most people, myself included, just trusted the companies to make good food for animals or went by recommendations. Plus there were all those wonderful commercials! 😉

    #77883 Report Abuse

    Lazaro B
    Member

    Ah yes, those wonderful commercials. They would sell there product to you on tv and tell you how great and nutritious there product is. Well, people are wiser now.

    #77892 Report Abuse

    chris
    Member

    I happen to have my dog on Merricks back country dry kibble. He’s been on Merricks for just over half a year now. This is the only food that I found he liked and didn’t cause any issues. He has a stomach hernia and the littlest things can effect him. Merricks has been perfect!

    I’m glad that you have left us know about this. I really hope Merricks sticks to what they’ve been doing and not changing things around. That scares me quite a bit as i’m sure since they only did it to get there name out there more that they will try to go a cheaper route and a faster way to make the food for supply and demand.

    #77893 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    Hey Chris, I understand your concern. Just be vigilant and pay attention to any bag changes or anything that seems off about the food or your dogs reaction to eating it. If it’s working for him and it’s hard to find a food he does well on I think thats a good reason to stay with Merrick until changes are made.

    #77894 Report Abuse

    Lazaro B
    Member

    I’m going to send them an email and tell them about my concerns. Hopefully, they Wo t change any of the of ingredients or let Purina touch it.

    #77896 Report Abuse

    Lazaro B
    Member

    Email sent. Let’s see what they say. I’ll let you all know. In the meantime, it’s back to hunting for a good quality food for my pooch. I’m still looking at WEF.

    #77897 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    They will say the same things they have been saying on their Facebook page. That they will continue to remain independently operated and will continue to make top of the line dog foods. Only time will tell and all we can do is be vigilant.

    #77898 Report Abuse

    Lazaro B
    Member

    I guess so.

    #77919 Report Abuse

    chris
    Member

    I had also sent them an email last night right away after I read this thread.

    This was there response to a huge paragraph I sent them.

    Hi Chris,
    We want to assure you that Merrick will continue to operate independently here in Texas with no changes to our recipes or ingredients and absolutely nothing from China. Your welcome to check with us any time for assurance and any questions.
    Have a great day~

    Brook Tiffee
    Pet Parent Relations, Merrick Pet Care, Inc.
    http://www.merrickpetcare.com | http://www.castorpolluxpet.com
    Join us on Facebook!
    http://www.facebook.com/merrickpetcare
    http://www.facebook.com/castorpolluxpet

    I mean, for now I’m going to say I will trust them as again I’ve never had issues with them and honestly I had called them several times and even there customer service is great. I’ll be sticking with Merricks as pitlove just replied till something seems off or sparks seems to start having issues on it.

    #77920 Report Abuse

    Lazaro B
    Member

    This is the email I sent them yesterday

    Recently you requested assistance from our Pet Parent Relations team. Below is a summary of your request and our response. If this issue is not resolved to your satisfaction please let us know by replying back to this email, or reach back out to us and include your incident reference #. Thank you.
    Subject
    I have major concerns about your dog food formulas now the Purina has bought…

    Response By Email (Twyla Waddell) (09/08/2015 01:24 PM)
    Hello Lazaro,
    Thank you for taking the time to contact us. Our focus remains on making the best food for the best pets ever, and that means making the high quality, nutritious and safe food and treats that all pets deserve. That doesn’t change with this news, and we will continue to operate as an independent business with no changes to our management or operations. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. Have a wonderful day!

    Twyla Waddell
    Pet Parent Relations, Merrick Pet Care, Inc.
    http://www.merrickpetcare.com | http://www.castorpolluxpet.com
    Join us on Facebook!
    http://www.facebook.com/merrickpetcare
    http://www.facebook.com/castorpolluxpet
    Customer By Service Web (Lazaro Borges) (09/07/2015 11:38 PM)
    I have major concerns about your dog food formulas now the Purina has bought MERRICK. One of my concerns is that you may change the ingredients in your food because Purina asked you to which will result in low quality food for our dogs. Another concern is Purina buying Nerrick out right and changing all the ingredients making whole earth foods and MERRICK not good for cats and dogs to eat. I’m sure you are aware of all the lawsuits against Purina because of there food. Please tell me that MERRICK and WHOLE EARTH FOODS are going to remain the same and not end up like Purina dog foods. Again, these are some of my concerns.
    Question Reference # 150907-000030
    Date Created: 09/07/2015 11:38 PM
    Date Last Updated: 09/08/2015 01:24 PM
    [—001:001581:27904—]

    #77924 Report Abuse

    C4D
    Member

    Sorry guys, I hate to burst your bubble, but of course that’s what they all say. They said it every time there was a buyout. Just watch your dog’s reaction to the food and think about adding some of the better quality family company brands into your rotation. 😉

    #77925 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    I would put my kitty on Fromm as well if the canned food was cheaper 🙁 My dog is doing great on Fromm and of course I love that it’s family owned and the 2 sons are being prepped to take the business over from their parents.

    #77927 Report Abuse

    chris
    Member

    C4D- That might be true, but i’m not just going to up and switch and not give them a chance to hold there word. Especially since it’s a food my dog has been doing great on the past 5-6 months now. Also, it being one that I can afford monthly.

    If perhaps something does change, I’m not sure what I would switch too as i’ve tried multiple foods that fit my budget and he did not care for them. I’ve tried, Natures balance, Blue, wellness core, and a few others. I think the only ones I have not really tried are ones that I can’t really afford monthly. Like Orijen, Acana, etc…

    I’ve always wondered as I rarely hear much about Natures variety and I know there a top star food. Are they a good company or?

    #77929 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    What about Fromm?

    #77930 Report Abuse

    Lazaro B
    Member

    I might try UNDER THE SUN which is made by CANNIDAE. For now, I’m transitioning from NBFD TO WEF HEALTHY WEIGHT. Both foods are affordable for my wallet.

    #77931 Report Abuse

    Lazaro B
    Member

    I also looked in FROMM pitlove. We shall see later on down the line. Hopefully its budget friendly.

    #77932 Report Abuse

    chris
    Member

    Pitlove- I haven’t given Fromm a try yet. Though, like I said in my previous post for even my family member that was looking for a cheap food that they would have to order it offline and I would have to do the same. I’m not one to shop online really. Another company I was told to try was Holistic Blend and i’ve been told good things about but that is also hard to find. I mean i’ll probably try Natures Variety since it’s locally unless I hear anything about them, but I haven’t heard anything yet.

    Lazaro B- Canidae was one of the first foods I actually tried for sparks and he would not even get near it. I moved on to Under the Sun a few months later since it’s actually cheaper then there regular food and also he did not want to touch it. Not saying not to give it a try obviously on your end, but I hope it works well for ya!

    #77933 Report Abuse

    Lazaro B
    Member

    Chris, I hope whatever you find for your dog works out too. I’ve ordered from chewy.com and they have great prices on dog and cat foods, but if you find something affordable near you, go for it.

    #77948 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    Lazaro- Fromm has a wide range of formulas, some budget friendly, some not. However, I am a picky person about what I feed my dog, especially because of the issues he’s had with his skin and I would feed literally any single product Fromm has put out. Including their budget friendly Family Classics line. He’s currently eating the Fromm Gold Large Breed Adult and doing quite well. Definitely something to look into. They make a weight management formula, which is the Gold Coast formula. It’s fish based.

    Chris- Have you used Fromm’s store locator function to see if they have a retailer near you? Chewy.com, like Lazaro mentioned, is very easy to order from and they even offer autoshipping. idk I love this food and its doing wonders for my pitbull and his skin and his pickiness. I recommend it all the time at work as well.

    #77953 Report Abuse

    chris
    Member

    Pitlove- Yes I have used Fromms store locator and the the closest place is an hour and a half away that carries it. That’s the thing since I put sparks on Merrick his coat became so shiny, his skin so soft and smooth, and he doesn’t shed nearly as much hair as he did before hand. That’s why i’m sticking with Merricks unless I see a huge difference which should be easy to tell if Merricks decides to not keep to there word. I appreciate the recommendation though 🙂

    #77956 Report Abuse

    C4D
    Member

    Hi Chris,

    I totally understand. I’m not saying just up and change, but be wary. Having a couple of foods in a rotation make it easier to switch and cause less issues if there is a formula change in a brand. I see you’ve tried some of the budget friendly and not so budget friendly foods. I agree with Pitlove. Fromm is a good company and I’ve had good luck with their foods. Another one I use is Earthborn, also a family company. I know several on this site like Victor, but I’m not familiar with it.

    #77961 Report Abuse

    Pitlove
    Member

    Chris- Ya I definitely think you should stick with Merrick until if/when changes are made. I was more thinking about it for if that does happen. I know how hard it can be to find a food that works for some dogs who have issues, so I probably wouldn’t be changing foods if I were you either, Purina or no Purina.

    #77993 Report Abuse

    chris
    Member

    C4D- I forgot about Earthborn actually. Thanks for reminding me about them!

    Pitlove- no problem, maybe i’ll do as suggested and if i’m down towards the store that carries from i’ll stop and pick up a bag to throw in the rotation to give it a try.

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