business news in context, analysis with attitude

The CBC reports that Del Monte Pet Products “is voluntarily recalling some of its dog and cat treats after concluding that one ingredient, wheat gluten from a supplier in China, contained melamine.” The products include Jerky Treats Beef Flavor Dog Snacks, Gravy Train Beef Sticks Dog Snacks, Pounce Meaty Morsels Moist Chicken Flavor Cat Treats, Ol' Roy Beef Flavor Jerky Strips Dog Treats, and Ol' Roy Beef Flavor Snack Stick Dog Treats.

The move came after Nestlé Purina PetCare said that wheat gluten containing melamine, a chemical used to make plastics and laminates, was provided for the manufacturing of the dog food by the same company that supplied Menu Foods, which also has recalled a broad number of products. It has recalled Alpo Prime Cuts in Gravy wet dog food with specific date codes that was made at one of the company’s 17 manufacturing facilities.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports this morning that national concerns about the safety of pet foods has reached the point where these seems t be new interest in homemade meals for pets.

“According to Nielsen BookScan,” the Times writes, “for the week that ended March 25, after Menu Foods recalled more than 60 million cans of pet food packaged under numerous name brands and store brands, ‘The Good Food Cookbook for Dogs’ sold 194 copies, compared with 42 the previous week. Other books with even more modest sales totals also showed sharp increases over the previous week: ‘Real Food for Dogs’ sold 66 copies, up from 23, for example, and ‘Home-Prepared Dog and Cat Diet’ sold 34, up from 8.”

And, “Sales of ‘Dr. Pitcairn’s New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats,’ which is not a cookbook but includes some recipes, climbed to 413, more than twice the number of the week preceding the recall.”
KC's View:
Not exactly best-sellers, but wouldn’t it be interesting if supermarkets started selling such books packaged with the ingredients required by the recipes?

We still think that the long-term implications of this problem will be eroded consumer confidence in the total food supply. This is a reality that American retailers and manufacturers better start acknowledging and dealing with.