When it comes to pet food, no human actually knows if the Sheba tastes better than the Friskies brand.

Luckily, an economist took one for the team to find out if the different brand-name cat foods marketed to pet owners really tasted any different.

In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Robert Shiller discusses his experience taste-testing cat food while doing research for his latest book, “Phishing for Phools.” When asked if the different pet food flavors really tasted any different, he tells WSJ reporter Jason Zweig,

The labels on the cans said things like ‘roast beef paté'; things that we would see in a restaurant. So I said, if they say that, it must be something like that. I tried tasting it, and they all tasted pretty much the same. They tasted like cat food. There is an artificial reality that is created by marketing.

Or, it might just be because he’s not a cat.

You may be wondering how the topic of cat food relates to Zweig’s new book. Phishing for Phools” details the various marketing strategies which marketers use to convince the consumer that their product is superior than the alternative. Looks like when it comes to cat food, those tactics are just a bunch of B.S.

[via Business Insider]