March 24, 2017
A defining generation for AGP alternatives: Delacon survey shows that phytogenics resonate with millennials
"To the US millennials, there was a positive value attached to meat produced with phytogenics. We did not directly refer to 'phytogenic feed addtives', but instead spoke about the use of natural plant-based ingredients such as from herbs and spices which one can find in the kitchen, things which the millennials could readily identify with," said Dedl.
He added that among US millennial foodies, the positive value attached was even higher.
"Foodies in the survey referred to millennials who care a lot about food, like eating, like to know what they are eating, like to try new things, and importantly, value the taste and quality of food."
The survey results had "opened the eyes" of some of Delacon's customers in Asia, according to Dedl. To those customers, they became interested in the results as they find that it was the first time a feed additive company talked directly to consumers, and more importantly, they responded very positively.
"Food companies don't really talk about the use of feed additives to consumers, who are sensitive about the negative connotations. Phytogenics is really the first category with a positive communication value, which we see from the survey results, and thus it helps food companies to have greater transparency with their customers. For other categories of feed additives, this is something quite difficult to do the same.
In fact, some meat integrators are already telling consumers things like natural plant extracts which are used in their products, because they recognise that consumers like to hear them," highlighted Dedl.
As to the question whether Delacon would conduct a similar survey in Asia, Dedl said that those were "sure questions they would ask in different countries", as they are "convinced that future buying decisions would be made by the consumer, more so than any regulatory body", as the company continues to help customers position themselves in front of consumers.
"While the proportion of foodies is not expected to be the same across the very diverse Asia market, one can still see a growing foodie scene in Asia, led by food bloggers and opinion leaders. Even here in Bangkok we continue to see new restaurants run by young locals, popping out. And they are selling labels such as 'safe', 'local' and 'antibiotic-free'.
In fact Asian consumers value meat quality, texture, taste and colour, much more than US or European consumers. They also devote more time and income to food than the average European consumer," pointed out Dedl.
Consumers might not be aware of it, but according to Dedl, phytogenics carry a lot of antioxidants. These can be imparted to meat, improving its taste and quality, and lengthening its shelf life. On top of that, phytogenics can help the animal to reduce its environmental emissions, something which environmentally-concerned consumers can also relate to. These are examples of what Delacon means when it says that it is extending its vision from feed to food in Asia.
"While AGP replacement has not taken place in every Asian country, we can see that the subject of natural alternatives is here to stay. China, Vietnam and Thailand are some examples. The future would be on disease prevention, and the next five to ten years would be a crucial period for our industry.
The current generation of millennials would be the defining generation. Delacon aims to be the best partner to help those who want to make the change, to be the first mover, to take advantages of the opportunities provided by this defining generation," Dedl stressed.
To help customers make the change, one of Delacon's recent products, Biostrong®Forte, is a combination product of phytogenics and short and medium chain fatty acids for poultry. It is now available in most countries in Asia.