Why Is Fancy Feast Being Discontinued? [Causes For The Shortage]

One thing about the Internet that is one of the most inescapable aspects and an unfortunate detriment to the entire experience of browsing the web is that you simply cannot believe everything that you hear. 

While there are aspects of Fancy Feast that are being discontinued, the entirety of the Fancy Feast lineup is not being discontinued. There are supply chain issues that are known at this time. However, Nestle has not announced any blanket discontinuation of the production and distribution of Fancy Feast.

Nestle is Purina, and Purina is Fancy Feast and Fancy Feast Friskies and Friskies is Nestle. The truth is, Nestle acquired Fancy Feast way back in 1985, and, since that time, Fancy Feast and Nestle’s merger have gone under the name of Friskies PetCare Company. 

This essentially means that any announcement about discontinuing a popular and long-term product would come from Nestle. 

Despite wild gesticulating on the part of the anonymous users of the Internet, there has been no such announcement. 

But some things are going on that could have sparked the idea that the whole Fancy Feast deal was going away. 

What is Going on with Fancy Feast?

Several things are going on in the cat food industry, so, understandably, some would assume it is just affecting their brand, which in this case, is Fancy Feast. 

There is currently a cat food shortage on top of some segments of discontinued brands within Fancy Feast.

  • Cat food shortages
  • Discontinued Fancy Feast appetizers
  • Specific shortages of Fancy Feast
  • Friskies discontinues treats

Cat food shortages are on the rise, just as human food shortages rise. 

The COVID pandemic affected the supply chain in certain areas and across the entire board. 

The problem is that what affects one quadrant of the country may not affect the other. Certain places within the U.S. may be directly affecting cat food supplies, while the southeast may not have seen such a shortage as of yet. 

This explains why some people who are in an uproar about cat food shortages are so puzzling to other people around the country. Unfortunately, such confusion could easily sow the seeds of discontinuation rumors despite the fact that Fancy Feast is fully stocked on the shelves in other states. 

Fancy Feast did discontinue its appetizers and replaced them with “Purely.” Several online petitions were launched to bring back Fancy Feast appetizers to no avail. 

However, this all happened years ago now and shouldn’t be driving any insinuations of a discontinued product. 

Another problem is that Fancy Feast is experiencing shortages in very specific flavors like many other cats and dog foods. Chicken and Turkey are tough to find, and it goes well beyond Fancy Feast. Turkey and chicken shortages are happening in other brands as well. 

What’s Causing the Shortages?

There are many reasons behind the shortages, but the pandemic is the driving factor. It’s like a domino effect, and it’s further exacerbated by incidental issues that would generally be easy for a company to absorb. 

  • Labor shortages
  • Incidental factors
  • Machinery and packaging
  • Additional pets
  • Shipping

Labor shortages are prevalent precisely because of the pandemic. Much of it is political, and we’ll leave that where it is since it’s beyond the purview of this article. However, COVID has unleashed a chain of events that affect things such as Fancy Feast and other cat and dog foods brands. 

Incidental factors that would generally be easily overcome by large and even small companies are no longer easy to handle. For instance, winter storms are blamed for manufacturing shutdowns at Freshpet facilities.

Under normal circumstances, Freshpet probably could have shrugged it off. However, as we move into 2022, things are hardly considered “normal circumstances.” 

Machinery and packaging are also a problem. As you have probably read, there are massive shortages in long-haul trucking, and goods and services are not arriving in grocery and pet store retailers across the country.

That’s not to mention the shipping issues, ports, and spoiled transport sitting out in the ocean or never having arrived in the first place. 

Another effect of the pandemic was to drive people into their homes for much longer periods of time than ever before. When people get lonely, they buy or acquire more pets. More pets mean an increased demand for food and increased demand when the supply chain is broken is a recipe for disaster. 

Has Fancy Feast Been Recalled?

As of this writing, there is no active recall on Fancy Feast cat food. Also, throughout the entire existence of Fancy Feast. There has never been a recall of any sort or on any available brand then or now. 

As of right now, the following brand lines are still available:

  • Fancy Feast Gourmet Cat Food
  • Fancy Feast Wet Cat Food
  • Fancy Feast Dry Cat Food
  • Fancy Feast Delights with Cheddar
  • Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers
  • Fancy Feast Gourmet Kitten Food
  • Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys
  • Fancy Feast Broths

According to Fancy Feast, their cat food is recommended by over 90% of all cat owners, and the brand continues to command a very high customer review rating. 

Has Fancy Feast Doubled in Price?

Fancy Feast has doubled in price in certain places and climbed to a higher price—but not quite doubled in others—for many of the reasons listed above.

  • More pet owners as a result of the pandemic
  • Increases in pets owned by millennials
  • “Premiumization”
  • Supply chain shortages

As explained above, more pet owners mean that demand is way up. 

When supply is low, and demand is up, prices rise. Outside of all of the other potential and real influences driving up prices, basic economics still operates in the same way. 

Outside of the pandemic, there is a separate and growing percentage change since not everything exists within that bubble. For example, millennials are far more likely to own pets than previous generations. 

This also increases demand and also price surges. 

There is also a willingness, within the general public, for premium foods. As pet owners become more informed about the benefits of premium food over the cheap stuff, demand for such food has increased. 

Because of that demand, more premium food is being manufactured and purchased, driving up the averages from everything else. 

Also, as aforementioned, supply chain shortages are driving up prices. 

When you put all of the current problems together—with the exception of owning more pets since that’s never a problem when you can take care of them—you get a price bubble.

At the end of the day, so many factors have seemingly come together at a distinct and specific point in human history, driving up prices, creating mass shortages, and driving rumors of products being discontinued when they certainly are not. 

Final Word

Rest assured that Fancy Feast has not been continued, and Nestle isn’t making any strange or concise movements in that direction. But, unfortunately, a lot of different factors have come together to drive Fancy Feast and a lot of other cat foods off the shelves. 

At some point, the continuing problems caused by the pandemic will have to pass. When it does, and the supply chain reconstitutes itself, Fancy Feast should return to the shelves. 

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Kelly, D. (November 12, 2021). Food Shortages We Could See In 2022 Retrieved from: https://www.mashed.com/659327/food-shortages-we-could-see-in-2022/

Lank, B. (October 20, 2021). Where’s the Fancy Feast? Some Eastside cats are facing a shortage of their favorite food. Retrieved from: https://www.theeastsiderla.com/lifestyle/pets_and_wildlife/wheres-the-fancy-feast-some-eastside-cats-are-facing-a-shortage-of-their-favorite-food/article_2e30f852-2e49-11ec-bb52-c3b1853abc82.html