Why are some brands claming high meat content when 30% is broth?

When looking at some at wet food recently i find that some products are claiming high meat content up to 90% (AATU/Barking heads etc…)

But 30% of this is turkey broth which is not meat!!

surely this is false advertising??


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Hello and welcome to the forum. Thank you for raising the subject. I have to say that I hadn’t noticed this since I have never fed either of those products. The AATU wet food is here and you are right, broth is 30%:

90% Lamb (Includes Lamb 60%, Lamb Broth 30%), Sweet Potato, Carrots, Lucerne, Peas, Chickpeas, Minerals, Tomato, Tapioca, Apple, Pear, Cranberry, Blueberry, Mulberry, Orange, Bilberry, Cowberry, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Parsley, Peppermint, Spirulina, Seaweed, Oregano, Sage, Marjoram, Thyme, Chamomile, Rosehip, Yucca, Chicory, Aniseed, Stinging Nettle, Marigold, Fenugreek, Cinnamon, MSM.

Barking Heads adult wet food is here.

Fresh Deboned Chicken (60%), Chicken Broth (25%), Peas, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Courgette, Sunflower Oil, Salmon Oil, Seaweed, Lucerne, Parsley, Celery, Chicory Root, Nettle, Turmeric, Aniseed, Minerals.

I have mentioned this to David because it is something that I don’t have the experience and knowledge to answer properly. He is very busy at the moment but hopefully will be able to reply to your query when he has time. Please keep a watch on your question as it might not be an immediate response.

Great question. Most companies are quite careful with this kind of thing, using wording like ‘contains 90% meat sourced ingredients’ and so on but manufacturers like to push the boundaries now and then to see how much they can get away with. Pet Food UK (the producers of both Barking Heads and Aatu) are notorious for it.

The ASA and Trading Standards only investigate when they receive a complaint and even when the complaint is upheld there are almost never any sanctions against the advertiser other than ordering that the wording be changed for the next printing run which could be months or even years away. Despite all this, complaints (when warranted) are well worth making as without them manufacturers would have free reign to claim whatever they liked.

If Trading Standards were to receive a well put-together complaint about the ‘90% meat’ claims, I think there is a good chance it would be upheld. Sadly the complaint process can be quite time consuming and that’s time I just don’t have right now but if someone else here would like to get stuck in I’d be very happy to help.

Thank you David - I had suspected that it was, as you say ‘pushing the boundaries’.

Again, thank you O1I1O for bringing this up - I am grateful for having learned a bit more about the pet food industry.