Feed additives suffer from marketing fatigue

Animal Nutrition Views

Ioannis Mavromichalis, Ph.D., gives his views on poultry, pig and dairy nutrition based on his experience as a nutrition consultant with clients around the world.

A recurrent complaint from many professionals involved in the animal nutrition business is the fatigue they experience from overexposure to marketing material from the additives industry. In other words, they are overwhelmed by marketing messages about additives. As I have strong interests on both sides of the fence, I have been naturally intrigued to learn more, and more interestingly how to overcome this issue — so, I have been asking many questions, and here’s what I found out, so far:

  • The fatigue symptom comes from the constant marketing bombarding on the need to use certain additives. The case for mycotoxins is the most obvious one: there is a constant flow of information why it is so important to use an anti-mycotoxin agent in feed and what happens when this is not done. In other words, the constant cultivation of fear has exhausted the recipients of this message.
  • Most professionals have already made up their minds on which additives to use. So now, they are looking for information on how to use these additives. Using the mycotoxins example, those who have decided to do something about the presence of mycotoxins in feed need information on which product to select based on the mycotoxin profile in their feed. Those who prefer to ignore mycotoxins simply bypass any marketing message that involves mycotoxins.
  • All professionals remain eager for new products and even for new applications of older additives. This means there remains considerable interest in the topic, as long as it is fresh and timely, instead of repetitive and even boring.

From the 1990s to the early years of the 2000s, additives were an innovation. Today, they are commodities that struggle to keep the sparkle going. To do so, many believe we must turn towards educating users on how to use additives instead of keeping telling them why they need to use them. Personally, I find this message very convincing.