If you have been purchasing Blue Buffalo pet food based on its rather suspicious claims about being "byproduct free", well, that is the power of marketing, no different than organic- and gluten-free manufacturers have created a similar health halo for their customers.

But competitor Purina didn't like marketing claims that its pet food was inferior. On May 6, 2014, Purina filed a lawsuit against Blue Buffalo for false advertising after testing revealed the presence of poultry by-product meal in Blue Buffalo's top selling pet foods. 

After originally claiming the testing was "Voodoo Science" and assuring their customers that "Blue Buffalo does not use chicken by-product meal or poultry by-product meal in any of our products," Blue Buffalo has admitted in court that chicken byproducts make up a "substantial" and "material" portion of its pet food and is trying to name its ingredient suppliers as Defendants. 

"Despite this admission, Blue Buffalo still has not informed consumers of the presence of poultry by-product meal in Blue Buffalo pet food, refuses to accept responsibility for the product it sold, and is instead blaming its suppliers," said Keith Schopp, a spokesperson for Nestlé Purina Petcare. 

It is estimated that Blue Buffalo sells over $1,000,000,000 of pet food at retail and well over 10 million bags annually. To maintain sales, they attacked "big name pet food companies", insinuating that they were somehow misleading consumers. Consumers paid a hefty premium for Blue Buffalo products based on these claims. 

"Blue Buffalo now claims it had no way of knowing the bags contained by-product meal. A manufacturer is responsible for knowing what's in its product, and a simple audit of its supply chain would have revealed what we discovered after reviewing the documentation," said Schopp.