Trying to get answers from Primal customer service

Dog Food Advisor Forums Canine Nutrition Trying to get answers from Primal customer service

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  • #119965 Report Abuse
    Reese B

    Hi guys,
    This will be a long post.
    So, with the new “grain free scare” I’ve been thinking about trying raw or freeze dried raw. I was looking at primal products but couldn’t figure out why the nutrition profiles were so different from their raw vs. freeze dried. On the website they state that their freeze dried is exactly the same as their raw except the moisture is removed. So I wrote them to find out more. Below is my e-mail exchange so far….

    I’m new to raw and looking for a lower fat option. I’m on the fence between raw frozen and freeze dried and was looking over the products on your website to see if any fit the bill of what I was looking for.
    I noticed your frozen raw rabbit formula was low fat at 17% protein and 5% fat.
    I then looked at the freeze dry formula and was surprised to see the protein is listed at 50% and the the fat is 28%.
    When I did the math to convert the frozen formula to a dry matter basis I got that the protein should be 58% and the fat should be 17%

    17 / 29 x 100 = 58% for protein

    5 / 29 x 100 = 17% for fat

    Did I do the math wrong? I don’t understand why the protein and fat is so different on for your frozen vs freeze dried rabbit formula if the ingredient are the same.
    If you could explain, that would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for contacting us. I can see how the math can get confusing. The nutritional values on our site are listed on an as-fed basis. Of course you’ll see that when you compare the guaranteed analysis of our freeze-dried formula to our raw frozen formula, the protein and fat levels in the freeze-dried varieties appear to be elevated at first glance. However, the key to understanding this difference lies in the moisture content. Since the moisture has been removed in the freeze-dried product, this causes the protein and fat levels to increase. For best feeding results, we recommend rehydrating with water. The weight of a freeze-dried nugget weighs less than that of a raw nugget because moisture has been removed. Nutritionally, a raw nugget is the same as a freeze-dried nugget when rehydrated or consumed with water.

    I understand that the values are listed on as fed basis…but my question is regarding why the math doesn’t add up from your raw to freeze dried formula. If you re-read my original email you’ll see I’ve done the math to convert you raw formula to a dry formula and the values don’t match what is listed on the freeze-dried product.
    If you convert the raw rabbit recipe into a dry matter basis, the protein should be 58% and the fat should be 17%. However that’s not what’s listed on the product. So I’m wondering how did you determine the values for the freeze dried formula?

    (EDIT: I didn’t get a reply to the above email, so I wrote to them again.)

    I haven’t heard back from anyone regarding this. Maybe I’m not asking my question in a way that makes sense. Let me try to explain…
    I understand that freeze dried food will always have higher nutritional values because the moisture is removed making it a higher concentration, however, the values on your freeze dried product don’t make sense compared to your raw frozen product from a mathematical stand point.
    For example, your frozen raw rabbit has a 17% protein and 5% fat. If I convert these to dry matter based on the formula on your blog ( it should be 58% for protein and 17% for fat.
    % guarantee ÷ dry matter x 100
    17 ÷ 29 x 100 = 58% for protein
    5 ÷ 29 x 100 = 17% for fat
    However, on your freeze dried rabbit nuggets the protein is listed as 53% and the fat is listed as 28%.
    There is no way the fat in the freeze dried product should be that high if it’s the same ingredients/formula as the frozen raw. I’ve noticed several other of your freeze dried formula’s are listing fat at a much higher percentage than it should be.
    Please explain to me how you are getting the values for your freeze dried products.

    I apologize for my delay in response but greatly appreciate your patience! Please see below for assistance with your conversion:
    1. The Protein/Fat content printed on the packaging is usually the exact lab result, and may depend on the source and part of the rabbit tested*.
    2. Approximate average figures are generally 3 X Frozen values:
    PFF Calculated Frozen : Protein (17), Fat (5) – Approximate – Calculated Freeze-dried : Protein (51), Fat (15) – Approximate
    – PFF Actual Freeze-dried : Protein (50), Fat (28) – Actual lab results*(Variability in raw source)
    – Customer Calculated Freeze-dried : Protein (58), Fat (17) – Approximate
    We suggest using PPF calculated amount to make the final decision.

    Thanks for your response. I’d like to make sure that I understand this correctly. When the lab tested both the raw and freeze dried, they got different values for fat and protein for both formula’s (even though they are the same), because different or fattier parts of the rabbit could have been used in the freeze dried batch?
    The approximate average figures are generally 3x the frozen value, but it this case it’s 6x the fat. ( 5% fat in the raw rabbit vs 28% fat in the freeze dried rabbit.)
    Do you lab test each batch for protein and fat content, as it seems it can vary considerably.
    On the freeze dried product it states that 28% is the minimum fat content, meaning it could be higher, but not lower.
    This is where I’m confused because if the raw frozen and freeze dried are essentially the same product (just with moisture removed) the freeze dried variety had a much higher fat content than the raw…meaning different batches have different fat content. So it’s impossible to say that the minimum fat in the freeze dried rabbit is 28%, right? There are batches that could have less fat depending on the source and part of the rabbit tested.
    Please let me know if this is correct.

    While we are required to list guaranteed analysis information in terms of minimums and maximums, the values we’ve chosen to post are not actually a minimum or a maximum. We list the actual values that we receive from our lab tests.

    That doesn’t make sense to me. You’re required to list guaranteed information in terms of minimum and maximum, but you’re choosing not to? I’m not trying to be difficult, I just genuinely don’t understand. Should I disregard the minimum/maximum values on your packaging?
    YOU didn’t answer my other questions. Do you test each batch for fat/protein content? How did you decide what is listed on the freeze dried package in terms of protein and fat? Did you test multiple batches and give an average or did you only test one batch and print those results on all of the packaging?
    Based on your previous emails I’m assuming that the fat content on the freeze dried product is much higher than the fat listed on the frozen raw product because of “the source or part of rabbit.”
    But that being said, in other batches of food a leaner rabbit source could be used making the fat content lower. So am I correct in saying the 28% fat is not the definite minimum and could be much lower in other batches depending on the rabbit source?

    (I sent that last e-mail to primal on Aug 2nd, and I have not gotten a reply back since.
    Does what they’re saying make sense to anyone? I thought they were required to list minimum or maximum values….any thoughts?)

    #119990 Report Abuse
    Patricia A

    Reese thank’s for posting this again under canine nutrition. No luck with Primal. The rep just didn’t seem to understand what i was asking or didn’t have enough knowledge to answer my questions. Just kept saying that once rehydrated the freeze dried would be the same nutritionally as the raw. Explained my concerns of needing a lower fat recipe and response was give less nuggets. I did some research since I switch between Stella Chewy’s and Primal Freeze Dried. My results were the Primal rabbit is 53% Protein/28% Fat but REHYDRATED is Protein 17%/5% fat. Exactly the same as the raw of same protein when rehydrated. Venison very close to same fat as rabbit and exactly the same as frozen raw rehydrated also. Stella’s which I also rotate with has 5% higher fat with their rabbit and venison.
    So do I need to still need to figure out the fat or is label telling me all I need to know regarding the fat???? As usual this is too complicated and I’m confused. Maybe rep gave me the correct info?

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by Patricia A.
    #120042 Report Abuse
    Reese B

    Hi Patricia,
    The rep doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
    The raw and freeze dried are not the exact same thing. The freeze dried has a higher fat content. If they were exactly the same, the fat for the freeze dried rabbit would be 17%, not 28%.

    I still haven’t heard back from them. I’m done with primal. I will not buy a product from a company who can’t/won’t answer basic questions about the nutrition of their food.

    #120048 Report Abuse
    jhon l

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    #120052 Report Abuse

    Hi Reese,

    I had a similarly unproductive conversation with Primal many years ago. So much misinformation from the company. I find this to be a common occurrence with many companies who focus on marketing vs nutrition.

    #120057 Report Abuse
    Reese B

    I totally agree Aimee. It’s so hard to find an honest, reputable company anymore.

    My favourite part of Primal’s response was:
    “While we are required to list guaranteed analysis information in terms of minimums and maximums, the values we’ve chosen to post are not actually a minimum or a maximum”

    Seriously?! They’re required to list minimum and maximum levels but they’ve chosen not to?! Are they even legally allowed to do that?
    I thought they HAD to have minimum/maximum levels stated.

    #120058 Report Abuse
    Patricia A

    Sadly I don’t think I’ve come across a food that DIDN’T list their guaranteed analysis such as protein/fat as Minimum. I’m sure their protein listing is always showing the highest possible amount and the fat showing the lowest but most likely much higher.
    Reese if you enlarge where primal shows the guaranteed analysis it shows the guaranteed analysis in the freeze-dried as 28% fat but under that shows the rehydrated as 5%. The same as their raw.

    #120059 Report Abuse

    Reese B,

    They do have to have mins and maxs. It sounds like they are just taking a chance here. Last time I looked at their labeling it made no sense and sadly there is not enough enforcement of regulations. Significant violations go unchecked. Best we as consumers can do is uncover the bad players warn others and move on.

    #120154 Report Abuse
    Reese B

    @Patricia , no, the freeze dried fat content is not the same as their raw. It should be 17% fat in the freeze dried if it was the same as they raw. If you re-read my email exchange with Primal, they admit that the fat content is different in both.

    you’re right, I just get so angry when pet food companies blatantly lie. Since this whole grain free scare, I’m totally at a loss at what to feed my dog (who has allergies to grain) Trying to find a substitute food without grains or legumes has been a nightmare. Then, when you think you found one, they can’t give straight answers about their products…soooo frustrating!

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