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IndustryPet food
Area served
ProductsDog food
OwnerNestlé Purina PetCare

Beneful is a brand of dog food products by Nestlé Purina PetCare global[1] that includes wet dog food, dry dog food and dog treats.[2] As of 2012, it was the fourth most popular dog food brand,[3] generating more than $1.5 billion in annual revenues.[4] According to a SWOT analysis by Marketline, Beneful is one of Nestle Purina's more significant brands by revenue.[5]


The Beneful brand of dog food was introduced to the market in 2001.[6] It was marketed on the basis of nutrition[7][8] and appearance; it resembled stew and contained beef pieces.[9][10] According to a company spokesperson, the term "Beneful" means "full of goodness".[7] A $34-million Beneful television advertising campaign that aired that year was the largest in Nestle Purina's history.[11][12] By the end of 2006, Beneful was generating $300 million in revenues.[13] In the same year the company invested $36 million to upgrade facilities in St. Joseph, Missouri to produce more wet food.[13][14] In 2010, Beneful attempted to "humanize" its dog food and introduced IncrediBites, a food in stay-fresh packaging with a smaller kibble size.[15]

Beneful released a series of posters in Germany designed to attract dogs by releasing the smell of dog food.[16] Following the poster promotion, in 2011, Beneful started airing television ads in Austria that included high pitch noises only dogs could hear to elicit a response from pets.[16][17][18] Interactive billboards from Beneful were released in New York in May 2012, allowing people to play virtual fetch in a subway station. The dogs on the billboard can be customized and will follow a passerby to engage them. The billboards have also been installed in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and St. Louis.[19][20][21] Beneful hosts an annual competition, the Beneful Dream Dog Park Contest, in which dog park designs are submitted for renovations. In 2013, 1,000 dog park designs were submitted for the $500,000 renovation. The program has produced parks in Johns Creek, Georgia, Alabaster, Alabama, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania.[22][23][24]


Beneful exclusively produces food for dogs including dry food, wet or canned food, and various snacks.[25] The Beneful Healthy Harvest product line, added in June 2005, was the company's first premium dry dog food to feature soy as the main protein source rather than meat.[6][26] Beneful Prepared Meals were introduced in March 2006. With eight flavors, the line featured resealable, multipurpose packaging where the containers also serve as a dog food bowl.[13] Beneful's packaging was recognized with the Pack Expo Selects Award at the Showcase of Packaging Innovations in 2007.[27]

2015 lawsuit[edit]

In February 2015, a class action lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for Northern California against Nestle Purina Petcare alleging that the propylene glycol and mycotoxins contained in its Beneful dog food brand were toxins capable of poisoning and even killing pets. According to Purina, the company uses food-grade versions of the ingredients that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is common in food items such as salad dressings and cake mix.[28] According to the plaintiff, there were over 3,000 complaints from dog owners with pets showing symptoms consistent with mycotoxin poisoning, such as vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and seizures.[29]

Veterinarians have said grieving pet owners often falsely attribute ambiguous, non-specific symptoms to food.[30][editorializing] Tests by the FDA found no contaminants in the product.[31]

The lawsuit was later changed to a claim of false advertising rather than harm to pets, but eventually all claims against Nestlé Purina were dismissed by the court.[32]


  1. ^ "Beneful". Nestle Purina.
  2. ^ "Products". Purina. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  3. ^ "New Dog Foods Focus on Health". MMR. January 28, 2013. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  4. ^ Olson, Elizabeth (October 17, 2012). "A Rachael Ray Food Truck for the Dogs". The New York Times. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  5. ^ "Nestle Purina PetCare Company SWOT Analysis". MarketLine. June 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Soy protein from Beneful". Grocery Headquarters. July 1, 2005. Archived from the original on March 28, 2015. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Lee, Thomas (October 7, 2001). "Purina Seeks to Attract Healthful Dog Owners with Beneful Strategy". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  8. ^ Ball, Deborah (March 18, 2006). "Nothing Says, 'I Love You, Fido,' Like Food With Gourmet Flair". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  9. ^ Iovine, Julie V. (June 3, 2001). "PETROPOLIS; Humans Learn a New Trick: Sharing Dinner With Fido". The New York Times. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  10. ^ Koerner, Brendan I. (November 30, 2003). "That Pudgy Pooch Is an Industry's Best Friend". The New York Times. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  11. ^ Reyes, Sonia; Baar, Aaron (August 27, 2001). "Purina Plots Poaching Protective Pooch Pals". Brandweek. Archived from the original on November 7, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  12. ^ Baar, Aaron; McMains, Andrew (August 27, 2001). "Ralston Shops Line Up for One". Adweek. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  13. ^ a b c "Dogged research yields new pet food". St. Joseph News-Press. May 7, 2006. Archived from the original on March 28, 2015. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  14. ^ "Nestle Purina PetCare plans $36 million expansion in St. Joe". St. Joseph News-Press. July 20, 2006. Archived from the original on March 28, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  15. ^ Turcsik, Richard (January 1, 2010). "Loyal friend: a steady stream of product introductions and a shift to higher-margin, healthier and a shift to higher-margin, healthier and nutritious offerings are helping the pet aisle remain strong". Grocery Headquarters. Archived from the original on March 28, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  16. ^ a b O'Carroll, Eoin (October 3, 2011). "Nestlé launches TV ad aimed at dogs. Will it work?". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  17. ^ Thomasson, Emma (October 1, 2011). "Nestle ads will go directly to the dogs; TV commercials designed to be heard by canine ears". Reuters.
  18. ^ Lucas, Louise (September 30, 2011). "Nestlé whistles up adverts to drive dogs wild". Financial Times. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  19. ^ Lacy, Lisa (May 7, 2012). "Beneful Lets People Play With Digital Dogs". Clickz. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  20. ^ Dunlap, David W. (September 16, 2012). "New Territory for Ads, With a Moving Target". The New York Times. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  21. ^ Donohue, Pete (May 14, 2012). "Columbus Circle subway ad's a dog-gone joy for riders". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  22. ^ "Berkus Joins Team For Fantasy Dog Parks". The Associated Press. July 31, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  23. ^ "Prescott wins $500,000 Beneful dog park award". The Daily Courier. December 18, 2013. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  24. ^ "Buchahan Park Dog Park to get $500,000 makeover". Lancaster Online. April 30, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  25. ^ "Beneful Brand Dog Food". Nestle. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  26. ^ Woh, Jessica (August 29, 2005). "Fluffy and Fido mimic owners' dining habits: Healthier diets extend animals' lives". The Associated Press.
  27. ^ Butschli, Jim (February 9, 2007). "Nestlé Beneful receives Pack Expo Selects award". PackWorld. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  28. ^ Lord, Debbie M. (February 25, 2015). "Beneful dog food maker sued for illness, death of thousands of dogs; Purina says food is safe". Alabama Media Group. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  29. ^ Ellis, Ralph (February 25, 2015). "Lawsuit says Purina food harms dogs; company denies allegations". CNN. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  30. ^ Scheidegger, Julie (April 1, 2013). "Beneful blasted in blogosphere". DVM360 Magazine. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  31. ^ "Target 11 investigates claims that Beneful is killing dogs". WSBTV. February 28, 2013. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  32. ^ "Judge dismisses Beneful lawsuit". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. November 18, 2016. Archived from the original on March 24, 2019.