Freshpet described the advert as “the best way to introduce the UK to the family” despite authorities warning that dog food was not fit for human consumption as it does not meet the same standards as human food.
The American manufacturer claimed: “Our pet food is made with real, fresh and all-natural ingredients. And while it’s made specifically with the nutrition of our pets in mind, it’s okay to taste. But of course, we recommend that humans stick to their own meals.”
During the advert a chef placed three meals in front of the children while telling them the food was “homemade shepherd’s pie, spaghetti meatballs, and shredded chicken fajita”.
At no point before consuming the meals were the children told it was dog food.
After the children had finished eating the chef told them it was dog food prompting faces of shock and responses such as “there’s something different about it but I love it” with the meat described as having “good texture” and “very good flavour”.
The New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries responded to the advert by warning citizens that “pet food is not safe for human consumption”, adding “it’s illegal to process and sell pet food for human consumption”.