What makes a private label feed different from a home-mixed or branded one?
Following the conversation from last week’s blog, I received several emails discussing the characteristics of a private label piglet feed. In essence, I was asked how a private label feed differs from any other feed. Here are my thoughts.
First, a private label piglet feed must stand against homemade feeds. That is, it must not be overly expensive. To this end, it helps that most homemade piglet feeds are low in most specialty ingredients and overall complexity. Thus, the issue of cost is important and a commercial feed, private label or not, needs to be priced reasonably in order to compete in this market.
Second, when placed against an existing commercial feed, a new private label piglet feed will have to pass the first and most important test, that of feed intake. Here, we accept that any and all piglet feeds post-weaning must prevent diarrheas and gut health problems. Thus, the issue always becomes which of the two feeds piglets seem to take on faster. I have chosen the word faster because such feeds are not fed for long. As such, any competing product must present a visual effect in terms of feed intake within the first couple of days post-weaning.
There are other issues, such as logistics, credit, bagging, labels, etc., but these are nothing users of private label products are not already aware of. On the other hand, exclusivity within the boundaries of a certain market/country is important for distributors and, if that is not considered carefully early on, it is often a source of discord for all parties involved.
Of course, buying a private label piglet feed for a big pig farm is ideal because it offers extra cost savings, and at the end of the day it enables even customization that is not possible when buying any product off the shelf.
One negative of private label products is the lack of the big-name impact branded products bring along. There are ways to circumvent this obstacle, but it is not possible to overcome it. After all, big brands spend considerable money on marketing and advertising, and this commands respect.