Purina reformulates Beneful dog food

Beef or chicken move to the top of the ingredients list, while a controversial additive is dropped

Corn is out while beef or chicken is in as the No. 1 ingredient in mass-market Beneful dry dog food.

The manufacturer, Nestlé Purina PetCare Co., also eliminated propylene glycol as the moisture preserver in the kibble food, replacing the ingredient with vegetable-based glycerin. Propylene glycol is at the center of a class-action lawsuit that alleges the food additive sickened or killed dogs.

St. Louis-based Purina has rejected the claim.

“While both ingredients are perfectly safe and FDA-approved, we removed propylene glycol entirely because consumers wanted something different,” company spokeswoman Kim Beardslee said. “Online rumors perpetuated a myth that it was something harmful, which it isn’t, and we’d already been planning to remove it for some time in favor of glycerin, so the new recipes just made sense for the switch.”

The new dry recipes elevate beef or chicken to the leading ingredient by weight. The previous No. 1, ground yellow corn, is now listed second and as whole grain corn. Added sugar was dropped from both diets.

“We continue to include [corn] because grains, including corn, are an excellent source of nutrition and provide antioxidants, energy-rich carbohydrates and fiber to promote digestion,” Beardslee said.

Before the changes, beef and chicken were lower on the Beneful ingredients list.

“We’ve heard loud and clear what consumers love about Beneful and how we can make it better,” brand director Brent Gleckler said. “Our new dry food recipes are a reflection of the feedback we’ve gotten.”

What also may appeal to dog owners is the cost. No price increase is planned.

“Consumers get more real meat without paying more for the food,” the company stated.

Depending on the variety, Beneful is available in bag sizes ranging from 3.5 to 44 pounds.

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