Author and affiliated with the Research and Development department of Vobra Special Petfoods BV
From 1993 to 2007 Anton Beynen was professor of veterinary nutrition at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. As from 2006 he is affiliated with the Research and Development department of Vobra Special Petfoods BV, Veghel, The Netherlands. Anton Beynen is (co)author of more than 1000 publications of which over 400 are PubMed-indexed. He is a highly cited author in the area of agricultural sciences.
Disparaged ingredients: Are negative claims justifiable?
Making claims on the absence of specific ingredients is now fundamental in petfood marketing strategy. Common negative claims on petfood labels are “no X”, “zero X”, “0% X”, “X-free” and “100% X-free”. A classical one is “no added artificial colors, flavors or preservatives”. More specific disparagements concern corn, wheat, sugar, glycerol and salt. In mature markets, grain-free dog and cat foods have gone mainstream, which relates to the appeal and clarity of the negative descriptor. Negative claims undeniably serve marketing, but are generally unfounded and have downsides.
March 12-14, 2025
10.00 – 18.00 hrs