Headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut, Blue Buffalo was founded in 2003 by Bill Bishop, who had one simple mission – to make natural and healthy food for dogs and cats. They make pet food of pretty much any style (wet, dry, treats) and for every life stage of dogs and cats, and have grown tremendously since starting. In 2017, they did well over $1 billion in sales. That caught the attention of the giant General Mills, who bought them in early 2018 for about $8 billion. With all that growth, we wanted to see if Blue Buffalo was cutting any corners in their production process. They started out local – are they still made that way? Additionally, pet food manufacturers are historically vague when it comes to the ingredients in their recipes. We dug in to find out the answers. Our verdict below.
Verdict: Is Blue Buffalo Pet Food Made in the USA?
For major ingredients and production of their recipes, Blue Buffalo sources and produces all of that from either their own facilities or their partners around the United States. They often outsource production of their recipes to other U.S. manufacturers, which include: Ainsworth, ANI/Vita-Line, CJ Foods, Triple T Foods, and Tuffy’s.
For smaller ingredients in their recipes, Blue Buffalo is vague about their specific location of origin. There are minimal details on their website, product packaging, and we even tried calling them. The several representatives we spoke to could not give us a detailed breakdown of where their micro ingredients come from. So, we cannot say for sure which of their products are 100% made in the USA. Below, we’ve listed some of their popular products that we know source their primary ingredients and production process in the United States.
Popular Blue Buffalo Products
- BLUE Life Protection Formula
- BLUE for Cats
- BLUE Freedom
- BLUE Basics
On the safety side of things, Blue Buffalo ran into some trouble in the past around mislabeling ingredients. In 2014, they were sued by Purina, who claimed they used chicken by-products in their recipes instead of a more wholesome chicken meal. This claim turned out to be true, resulting in Blue quickly correcting their mistake and blaming it on a supplier that “mislabeled” some ingredients. If you’re ever curious about what one of their ingredients means, they keep a full glossary of them here.
Blue Buffalo has also had three major recalls in their history. The most recent recall was a voluntary one in March 2017 – their BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs had elevated levels of beef thyroid hormones, which caused adverse side effects for dogs (non-lethal). The other recalls were in October 2010 for elevated levels of Vitamin D in their products causing dogs to get sick, and the last recall in April 2007 for a rice protein they used being contaminated with melamine.
So, Blue Buffalo doesn’t really have the best track record with the safety of their products. Even though they produce all of their recipes in the U.S., there are tons of better options for your dog or cat. We’ve done a bunch of research around American made pet foods – you can find our recommendations below.