Strategy for Juggling Consumer Trends and Feed Choices

Strategy for Juggling Consumer Trends and Feed Choices

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Sustainable. Alternative. Organic. These terms have become mainstream when consumers talk about foods. But, they are also becoming more common as manufacturers and producers look at animal feed nutrition options. With changing consumer trends and expanding feed research, producers and manufacturers keep creating new ways to juggle all these developments. The challenge is how to stay on top.


The Animal Nutrition Conference of Canada (ANCC) 2018, Cutting Edge Nutritional Strategies for Improving Performance, Profitability, and Sustainability presentations covered the role of livestock in world-wide sustainability, carbon-smart agriculture, alternative feed ingredients, organic acids and novel products and technologies. The future is now. Consumers continue to evaluate and explore options. Leaders in the field offer solutions to producers that range from innovative feeds to proactive practices to solution-oriented technology.

Animal feed sustainability has moved from a topic of study to a documented agricultural strategy. The Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations (FAO) reportTowards a Concept of Sustainable Animal Diets, offers their model as a workable solution to providing benefits for all parties.

Producers are exploring alternatives, focusing in on what they are feeding and how it is made. Environmental concerns make natural supplements, with no fillers and no additives, sold in biodegradable or recyclable eco-tubs, a very attractive alternative. Vitalix offers these choices.

In a one-step-at-a-time scenario, big steps like these can make a measurable difference.

Alternative trends

Misconceptions, misinformation and evolving consumer passions about healthy eating and antibiotics have producers searching for methods to meet these trends.

Mike von Massow, University of Guelf, Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics professor, presented on Consumers’ Attitudes on Meat Production: What They Know, What They Don’t Know and Why It Matters at the 2017 ANCC. He shared consumer behaviour research and addressed the confusion consumers face and the challenges facing manufacturers and producers.

In his blog Thoughts on Food, von Massow shared Nielsen research showing only a small percentage of Canadians are vegetarian or vegan, but, a larger number are planning to increase greens in their diets. Decision-making on what to eat and where to eat is definitely fluid. But so are the ways manufacturers make and producers choose animal feeds. Accurate information can help bridge the gap.


Consensus on how to define, set standards and market organic products remains elusive. The USDA recently scrapped its certified organic research and promotion program, started in 2017, citing lack of support and too many outstanding issues. However, some producers seek this option. The challenge is finding a supplier that meets needs, both product-wise and volume. For many, going for the healthiest option in the traditional feed and supplements market may be the best solution.

Vitalix Values

Vitalix Blue Tubs contain only the finest, highest-quality, natural ingredients. Producers can choose environmentally-friendly eco-tub options for selected products. Essential oils are micro-infused to create quality products. A beet molasses base provides superior nutrition and palatability. Vitalix’s holistic approach helps producers meet changing needs.

The Solution

The juggling act between current trends and future feed regimes requires careful assessment of product profiles, balanced with each producer’s feeding program. Reading, researching and restructuring are, and will continue to be, essential components of creating a sustainable feed strategy that is future-proof. The solutions lie in collaboration.