Triumph Cat Food Review17 min read
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All pet food is not created equal and some companies simply don’t have your cat’s best interests at heart. It’s your job as a pet owner to do the research and find a company that is worthy of your trust (and your hard-earned dollar), not to mention your cat’s health.
Triumph is a pet food company with over 50 years of experience in the industry. They use wholesome ingredients and own their own manufacturing facilities to ensure quality.
Read on to see what we think of the brand and to see our reviews for their top products.
How We Review Cat Food Brands
Though your cat might not look like a wild beast, he’s still pretty wild at heart. He’s also inherited his nutritional needs from the wild cats from which he descended.
Cats are obligate carnivores which means their bodies (and their digestive systems) are adapted to eat meat. Protein is the most important nutrient in your cat’s diet and it needs to come primarily from animal sources. If the first ingredient in your cat’s food isn’t meat, start shopping around.
If you’ve ever gone shopping for cat food, you already know that all pet foods aren’t created equal. Pet food companies are businesses just like any other and they use marketing techniques to encourage customers to choose their products over another. It’s your job as a pet owner to do the research and to know how to interpret the information on a pet food label to make a smart choice.
Lucky for you, we’re here to help! We don’t expect you to be a pet food expert, so we’re going to give you the background you need on your cat’s nutritional needs to know what to look for. We’ll also give you an in-depth look into some of the top brands to help you decide if it’s good enough for your cat.
Here are some of the things we look for in a good cat food brand:
- High-quality animal protein as the first ingredient
- Rich in healthy animal fats (ex: chicken fat or salmon oil)
- Few to no carbohydrate ingredients (especially within the top 5)
- Limited number of main ingredients plus supplements
- No low-quality fillers, grains, or by-products
In addition to making sure any cat food brand we recommend is made with high-quality ingredients, we evaluate several other factors as well. We prefer brands that offer a wide variety of recipes and those that provide plenty of information about their ingredients and products. We also consider pricing and recalls as well as the availability of the brand as a whole.
Overview of the Triumph Brand
The history of the Triumph brand dates all the way back to 1949. Starting out as an animal feed company under Omar Bullen and his son-in-law, Fred Bostick, Jr., Triumph was headquartered in Red Bay, a town in rural North Alabama. As the company grew, they added pet foods including dry kibble to their lineup in 1960. The product line was expanded with economy dog foods in 1972.
By 1984, Alan Bostick had taken over as President/CEO and continued to build up on the family’s history. Under his guidance, Triumph grew to reach all of the United States and 30 countries worldwide.
Today, Triumph makes the following four promises:
- Highest quality
- Kitchen crafted
- Guaranteed satisfaction
- Wholesome foods
Triumph pet foods are manufactured by Sunshine Mills, Inc. and made in the United States. They follow the strictest standards for quality and safety with all of their products.
Here’s what they have to say about it:
“We begin the rigorous process of crafting the Triumph brand by purchasing our own ingredients. Then, we continue by manufacturing the product and filling our own packaging. Subsequently, we complete the process by shipping the finished product right to our customer’s front door. We take pride in being able to regulate our Triumph brand from beginning to end and are thrilled to provide our customers with high quality, kitchen crafted goodness.”
At Triumph, your pet’s nutritional needs are always the priority. They don’t use any animal by-product meals or artificial colors and they choose wholesome fruits, veggies, and other healthy ingredients. They even offer limited ingredient and grain-free products for pets with allergies.
What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
At the time of review, Triumph only has 11 cat food recipes on their website. This includes two Free Spirit dry food recipes, four Meals of Victory wet food cups, and five canned food recipes. If you shop on Chewy, you’ll find several additional dry and wet food options.
Based on the disparity between the brand’s site and Chewy, we’re assuming Triumph reformulated some of their recipes recently and once the older products run out on Chewy they won’t be renewed. We’ve reviewed one of the older dry food recipes for comparison with a Free Spirit formula, though these recipes aren’t yet available on Chewy.
Here is the nutritional information for some of the most popular cat food recipes:
Dry Cat Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories/Cup|
|Free Spirit Grain-Free Chicken & Vegetables Dry Food||36||16||6||10||371|
|Free Spirit Grain-Free Salmon & Chickpea Dry Food||36||15||4.5||12||357|
|Triumph Chicken, Rice & Sweet Potato Dry Food||32||15||4.5||10||371|
|Triumph Salmon, Oatmeal & Pea Recipe Dry Food||32||15||4.5||10||383|
|Triumph Whitefish, Egg & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Food||32||13||4||12||376|
Wet Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories/Kg|
|Meals of Victory with Chicken Recipe Wet Cat Food Cups||10||4.2||1.5||81.5||707|
|Meals of Victory with Salmon Recipe Wet Cat Food Cups||10||4.2||1.5||81.5||707|
|Meals of Victory Seafood Medley Wet Cat Food Cups||10||4.2||1.5||81.5||707|
|Meals of Victory Liver Recipe Wet Cat Food Cups||10||4.2||1.5||81.5||707|
|Triumph Turkey Formula Canned Cat Food||10||7||1||78||1,429|
|Triumph Salmon Formula Canned Cat Food||10||6||1||78||1,210|
|Triumph Ocean Fish Formula Canned Cat Food||10||5||1||78||1,112|
|Triumph Trout Formula Canned Cat Food||10||6||1||78||1,217|
|Triumph Chicken Formula Canned Cat Food||10||6||1||78||1,168|
|Free Spirit Grain-Free Chicken & Whitefish Dinner Canned Food||9||6.5||1||78||1,262|
|Free Spirit Grain-Free Turkey & Giblets Dinner Canned Food||9||6.5||1||78||1,351|
Product Recall History
Though it’s important to read pet food labels, the list of ingredients and guaranteed analysis on a product may not be enough to give you an overall picture of the brand. You should also look into details about where the brand sources their ingredients and how their products are manufactured.
It also doesn’t hurt to look into the brand’s recall history.
A product recall happens when an issue is discovered with a product and the brand needs to stop selling it so they can fix it. Sometimes the brand issues a voluntary recall when they discover the problem themselves, or the FDA can issue one in response to consumer complaints or testing of their own.
Product recalls can happen for minor issues like labeling errors but they can also be for serious problems like foreign objects in the food, formulation errors, or contamination with food-borne pathogens.
Here’s an overview of product recalls for Triumph cat food:
- 2017 (foreign material) – Cans of Triumph’s Ocean Fish flavor were recalled in 2017 due to the possibility of foreign material in the cans.
Though this is the only recall affecting the Triumph brand, the company that makes it – Sunshine Mills – has had other recalls. About 10 years earlier, Sunshine Mills was involved in a widespread pet food recall caused by melamine levels in products.
Products Included in This Review
|Name||Type||Protein %||Fat %||Top 5 Ingredients|
|Triumph Chicken, Rice & Sweet Potato Dry Food||Dry||32||15||Deboned chicken, chicken meal, whole ground barley, oatmeal, whole ground rice|
|Free Spirit Grain-Free Chicken & Vegetables Dry Food||Dry||36||16||Deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, chickpeas|
|Free Spirit Grain-Free Chicken & Whitefish Dinner Canned Food||Wet||9||6.5||Deboned chicken, water, chicken liver, salmon, calcium carbonate|
|Meals of Victory with Salmon Recipe Wet Cat Food Cups||Wet||10||4.2||Deboned chicken, water, chicken liver, salmon, calcium carbonate|
|Triumph Turkey Formula Canned Cat Food||Wet||10||7||Chicken, water, pork liver, ocean fish, rice flour|
One of three dry food formulas from Triumph currently available on Chewy, this recipe is named for three main ingredients: chicken, rice, and sweet potato. When reading the list of ingredients, however, we were surprised to see that sweet potatoes appear much further down the list than chicken and rice.
This isn’t an uncommon practice in pet food labeling, but it surprised us in this case because some of the ingredients that come before the sweet potato are some we’d think the company would want to advertise: whole grains.
Though this formula starts with deboned chicken and chicken meal, these ingredients are followed by three wholesome grains: whole ground barley, oatmeal, and whole ground rice. Though we certainly prefer animal proteins over plant-based ingredients, we like whole grains in cat food more than we like traditional grain-free carbohydrates like peas and legumes.
In addition to these grains, this recipe is loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables with chicken fat as the primary source of added fat. You’ll also see the requisite synthetic vitamins and minerals for balance.
When comparing this formula to the previous, you’ll notice immediately an upgrade in packaging as well as an uptick in price – this recipe costs nearly $1 more per pound.
This Free Spirit formula starts out the same as the previous recipe with deboned chicken and chicken meal as the top two ingredients. Where it starts to differ is in the inclusion of a third animal protein, turkey meal, as the next ingredient. It also differs in that it is a grain-free formula.
Instead of the whole grains used in the previous recipe, this formula includes peas and chickpeas as the primary carbohydrates. We see a few fruits and vegetables as well, but not as many as the previous formula. Again, chicken fat is the main source of added fat and there are a number of vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure nutritional balance.
Overall, this recipe is higher in protein and moisture than the first recipe and appears to be lower in carbohydrates. We don’t love the replacement of the whole grains, but it’s still a good recipe.
This Free Spirit wet food seems to have been reformulated recently, since Chewy lists the ingredients for a “new” and an “original” recipe. Overall, the two didn’t seem very different.
The first ingredient in this canned food is chicken broth, followed by fresh chicken. Poultry liver comes next as a supplemental source of protein and key nutrients. We like the extra protein, but we don’t love unspecified sources like “poultry.” This ingredient is followed by two additional sources of animal protein, whitefish and dried egg product.
All of the main ingredients in this formula appear to be animal-based proteins. Aside from vitamin and mineral supplements, the only other ingredients are guar gum and carrageenan for thickening. Carrageenan is, of course, a red flag ingredient that is very controversial among pet owners.
This salmon recipe is packaged in 3.5-ounce cups rather than 5.5-ounce cans like the previous formula. It is made without corn, wheat, or soy ingredients and is free from artificial colors. The package describes it as “super premium food for cats.”
The first ingredient in this recipe is deboned chicken, followed by water and chicken liver. You don’t see salmon until the fourth ingredient.
Though this may seem surprising to the average pet owner, the name of the product clued us in. When a pet food manufacturer uses the word “with” in the product name, it means the ingredient that follows is only used in concentrations up to 3%. It makes sense, then, that chicken is actually the main ingredient.
This may or may not be an issue for your cat, but it can be misleading for pet parents who are looking for fish-based recipes for cats with allergies. We don’t love the misleading name or the use (again) of carrageenan, but otherwise the recipe itself seems fairly decent.
Cat owners who feed wet food exclusively will appreciate that this formula comes in large 13.2-ounce cans and it is priced under $0.15/ounce. This recipe features fresh turkey as the main ingredient with supplemental protein from chicken, pork liver, and dried eggs.
Aside from these, the only other main ingredients are rice flour and water. Guar gum is used for thickening along with carrageenan – the rice flour will add some thickness as well.
Overall, we would really like these canned foods from Triumph if it weren’t for the carrageenan and a few unspecified ingredients. They certainly aren’t bad in terms of nutrition and the lists of ingredients are actually fairly short. We’d just make a few improvements.
What Do Customers Think of Triumph Cat Food?
As a pet owner, it’s your job to make an educated decision about what you feed your cat. It’s important to do your research on a company before you purchase their products. Unfortunately, reading through the website and reviewing pet food labels only gets you so far.
In doing your research, you may want to read some reviews to see what current customers think.
Because Triumph cat food is sold on Chewy and from other online retailers, we were able to read a number of reviews. Their products average 3 to 4 stars (out of 5) and customers seem to prefer the canned foods over the dry foods. Negative reviews were largely due to cats simply not liking the food or throwing up after eating it.
How Much Does Triumph Cat Food Cost?
Price is a major concern for many pet owners, especially when it comes to their cat’s everyday diet. The important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t shop by price alone.
Pet food manufacturers want to make money like any other business, so they pass along their own prices to their customers. When you use higher quality ingredients, it raises the prices for both. As a pet owner, you need to walk the line between quality and affordability in pet food.
Triumph dry cat food ranges from about $1.50 to about $2.50 per pound, though we were comparing products from two different retailers. Their wet foods are highly affordable, the most expensive being $0.26/ounce and the others being under $0.20/ounce.
To give you a better idea how Triumph stacks up against other cat food brands, here is a quick chart to show you some average prices:
|Meow Mix Original Choice Dry Food||Dry||Low||X||$0.90/pound|
|Friskies Classic Pate Mixed Grill Canned Food||Wet||Low||$0.07/ounce||$1.16/pound|
|Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Chicken & Brown Rice Adult Dry Cat Food||Dry||Moderate||X||$2.53/pound|
|Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Chicken Pate Recipe Canned Cat Food||Wet||Moderate||$0.36/ounce||X|
|Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken||Dry||High||X||$3.45/pound|
|Ziwi Peak New Zealand Venison Recipe Canned Cat Food||Wet||High||$1.21/ounce||X|
Where Can You Buy Triumph Cat Food?
Triumph is an affordable brand of cat food and you can find it fairly easily. When shopping in stores, you’ll find Triumph at local and regional pet store chains as well as some larger stores. Online, the best place to shop for Triumph cat food is Chewy. You can also buy directly from Sunshine Mills on their company website and can find some Triumph products on Amazon, though they are not an authorized reseller of Triumph products.
Our Final Thoughts: Is Triumph a Good Brand?
Triumph seems to be a brand in transition at the time of review, so it’s hard to get a feel for their products when the selection varied so significantly at different retailers. Overall, we were pleased with the quality of their ingredients and their formulations, though there was a red flag ingredient here and there. We did get the sense that the brand is committed to quality and safety, however, and we appreciate that they are so transparent about the sourcing and manufacturing of their products.
If you’re looking for an affordable brand of cat food, Triumph could be a good choice. We typically prefer wet food to dry food products, but we have a hard time wholeheartedly recommending these wet foods simply because they are made with carrageenan.