Royal Canin Pet Food: Marketing vs. Food Ingredients
Last week, I introduced the idea of using a word cloud analysis to check if a given pet food Brand’s marketing messages are consistent with the actual ingredients in their product portfolio. In today’s post, I will share the results of the first analysis, which was done on the Royal Canin Brand.
About Royal Canin
Royal Canin is an international pet food Brand that originated in France. Royal Canin foods are available both at retail locations as well as veterinary offices (for its veterinary line of prescription foods).
Royal Canin is a moderate to expensive line of pet food. I pulled price data for their dry dog foods from Petco.com and found that their average price is about $3.50 per lb., with a low of $1.71 (for a large, 35 lb. bag) and as high of $7.20 per lb. for some of their smaller, 2.5 lb. bags.
According to their website, Royal Canin strives
“….. to constantly bring, through Health Nutrition and shared knowledge, the most precise nutritional solution for cats’ and dogs’ health nutrition needs, by building on constantly deepened scientific knowledge and Royal Canin’s roots in the feline and canine professional networks.”
Royal Canin Marketing Word Cloud
Using the above mission statement as well as their page on “science based nutrition”, I created a word cloud to depict the key words in their marketing verbiage.
Some of the more prominent terms that appear on their site include, in no particular order:
From these terms, one might assume that Royal Canin’s food is nutritious, high in protein, healthy, and backed by science. It is not possible to know if the frequent use of the terms byproducts and corn are in a positive or negative context, but it is clear that Royal Canin does consider these important terms.
Now we can look at the word cloud from the Rpyal Canin recipes. I used the first fifteen ingredients from the ingredient panel of 63 of the foods in their portfolio.
Unlike in the case of the marketing word cloud, where context is not apparent, the ingredient word cloud needs no context. It simply reflects the most prominent and pervasive ingredients in the Brand’s foods.
The Royal Canin world cloud is very disappointing. Looking at the cloud, I don’t see much that I would want to feed my dog. In my opinion, these ingredients are not species appropriate nor do they align with their stated mission of bringing the “most precise nutritional solution for cats’ and dogs’ health nutrition needs”. How could foods full of low quality grains, byproducts, and flavorings possibly deliver precise (and appropriate) nutrition to a dog? Yet, consumers are paying up to $7.20 per lb. for the privilege of feeding their pets these ingredients. One would think that for $7.20 per lb., or even for the average price of $3.50 per lb., that the consumer would get some more real, named meat, and perhaps a few fruits or veggies mixed in.
Royal Canin Perception vs. Reality
In the case of Royal Canin, the perception (and product pricing) of this Brand is not in alignment with the quality of the products that are being fed to the pets.
— SlimDoggy (@MySlimDoggy) September 22, 2015