Grocery Shrink Ray Hits "Science Diet" Cat Food

We’ve been getting quite a few complaints about Hill’s Science Diet Cat Food. It seems that they’ve shrunk their bag and (in some stores) the price went up too.

Reader Michael says:

Last week, I found that kitty’s favorite food vanished from Petsmart. So I went to Petco, where the Super shrink ray scored a critical hit. The big bag of Science Diet Nature’s Best cat food shed 31% of its weight, going from 17.5 lbs to 12 lbs. If you look closely at the picture, you’ll see that the “Low price!” tag is kind enough to point this out. Although the old price may have been clearance and the new UPC was different, the price check said $35.99.

It’s also now “Chicken and Brown Rice Dinner” instead of merely “Chicken and Rice”. Surprisingly, the ingredients might qualify as legitimately new and improved: “chicken” (a lot closer to what you’d think it is than the unpleasant but cheaper “chicken by-product meal”) has been bumped up in the ingredient list from #7 to #1, for example.

Anyway, it was a sad ending here for Science Diet. Before, Nature’s Best was merely high-priced food. Now it’s now the most expensive food in the store.

Reader Amy contacted the company and here’s the response they sent:

Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.

Ms. Amy xx
xxx
xxx

Dear Ms. xxx:

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

Hill’s® is a significant purchaser of quality ingredients used in the production of our pet foods. In the last several months, the cost of these ingredients has substantially increased. We are passing along a portion of these increases in the form of a product price increase.

Hill’s® has always maintained the highest quality pet food and manufacturing processes, and will continue to do so. This quality is reflected in the superior nutritional benefits we provide pets, at cost of just pennies more per day than grocery brands.

We can certainly understand your concern, as we have personally been impacted by rising costs of essential items like gas or food. However, Hill’s® is unwilling to compromise our high quality standards by using less costly, lower quality ingredients or manufacturing methods.

Comments from our consumers are one of the most important sources we have for measuring the quality and acceptance of our products and the services we provide. If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to call our Consumer Affairs Department toll free at 1-800-445-5777, 8AM-5PM CST, Monday-Friday, or visit HillsPet.com.

Sincerely,

Jama Einfalt
Dietary Management Consultant
Consumer Affairs