10 Jul 2014

Cat fight in court over protein levels

7:23 pm on 10 July 2014

A fight over protein levels in cat biscuits has sent fur flying in court.

Nestle, which owns the Purina and Friskies brands, is seeking a judgement against Mars, which owns the Whiskas brand.

Nestle said claims on some Whiskas packaging are a breach of the Fair Trading Act.

A fight over protein levels in cat biscuits has sent fur flying in court.

A fight over protein levels in cat biscuits has sent fur flying in court. Photo: PHOTO NZ

The packaging features prominent claims that Whiskas cat biscuits have the highest levels of protein.

But in a small explanatory note, it says that comparison is with the average protein levels across several other competing brands.

Nestle's lawyer Laura O'Gorman said the main statement is therefore misleading.

Ms O'Gorman said it tells consumers that Whiskas has higher levels of protein than any other brand, when it has only above-average levels. She said, in fact, some flavours of Whiskas biscuits have lower-than-average levels of protein.

However the lawyer for Mars, Tracey Walker, told the court the explanatory statement is obvious, is clearly connected to the main statement, and is written in everyday language.

Ms Walker said an interested shopper could easily compare protein levels between different products themselves.