Beneful is a popular brand of dog food made by the Nestle corporation. Focused on good nutrition and taste, it has a reputation for putting pets first. As a result, the company has earned over $1.5 billion annually since 2012, a testament to their quality and ingenuity. But most people are at least familiar with that much about the company. What less people are familiar with is the actual meaning of the name Beneful. Let’s examine it through the lens of linguistics.
According to one company spokesperson several years ago, “Beneful” is a word that was created to mean “full of goodness”. We can use that as a starting point as we break things down and examine their parts. The beginning part of the word, “Bene-“, would likely be a shortening of “benefit” or “benefits”. That’s definitely an appealing thing to have in your name if you’re trying to sell a food product.
The second half, “-ful”, simply means the product is “full of” something else. If we put those two together, it would come out to mean something like “full of benefits”, or “full of goodness” as the spokesperson said. In short, the name checks out. Not only that, so does its meaning if Beneful’s sales and popularity have anything to say about it. If you’ve yet to try any of the great Beneful pet food products with your four-legged friend, now might just be the time. See how just how “full of goodness” it is first hand.