The "Order of Ingredients" Myth

To clarify how ingredient lists work –

AAFCO requires that product ingredients be listed in order of predominance by weight. What this means is that if one ingredient outweighs another by 1 lb., the higher weight ingredient must go first. If ingredients are of equivalent weight within the formulation, the list order is at the manufacturer's discretion.

Because an ingredient is listed first does not mean that it is the "primary" ingredient within the product, i.e. that it is the main ingredient, makes up the majority of the product, etc.

Consider that the following hypothetical product formulation:

Chicken: 100 lbs.
Tapioca: 100 lbs.
Corn: 100 lbs.
Wheat: 100 lbs.

Could be accurately depicted as:

Chicken, Wheat, Corn, Tapioca…

Consumers might mistakenly interpret that product as a chicken-based product. It's the first ingredient after all. In reality it's anything but, and the starch ingredients outweigh the chicken at a 3:1 margin.

So don't make the mistake of putting too much stock in the "first" ingredient on a product ingredient list.