Champion Petfoods makes the Orijen and Acana brands of pet food, which are premium products that the company says will help you ensure that “your furry family member is getting the very best.” In a lawsuit against Champion, buyers of the company’s dog food alleged that they were misled into paying premium prices due to false claims that the company made on its product packaging.
Alleging a variety of claims under Minnesota law, the plaintiffs claimed that Champion made the following false statements about its products — “fresh regional ingredients,” “biologically appropriate,” “nourish as nature intended,” and “delivering nutrients naturally.” On a motion to dismiss, a federal court in Minnesota dismissed the case, holding that the plaintiffs had failed to plausibly allege that Champion’s dog food packaging could deceive a reasonable consumer. Here’s why.
“Fresh Regional Ingredients”
The plaintiffs argued that the use of the phrase, “Fresh Regional Ingredients,” on dog food packaging falsely communicated to consumers that all of the ingredients used to make the dog food were “fresh” and “regional.” The court simply didn’t buy the argument, however, that calling out the fact that the product had fresh regional ingredients necessarily meant that the product exclusively contained those ingredients. The court wrote, “Just as a statement that mashed potatoes are made with “real butter” does not imply that the only fat used is real butter, and just as a statement that graham crackers are made with ‘real honey’ does not imply that the only sweetener