Millennials positive about meat raised with plant extracts

15-02-2017 | |
Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Nine out of 10 millennial foodies say meat and poultry produced with phytogenics (plant extracts) would make a positive impact on their brand choice.

This was shown from a survey among 505 millennials between 24-34 years of age, living in the United States. The online survey was conducted in December 2016 by Millennium Research and commissioned by animal nutrition company Delacon.

Nine out of 10 (87%) millennial foodies say meat and poultry produced with phytogenics would make a positive impact on their brand choice. And, nearly two-thirds (63%) of millennial foodies look at labels closely, suggesting an untapped opportunity for food brands to differentiate themselves with the powerful story of phytogenics.

“An increasingly transparent food system means producers need solutions that not only work, but also resonate positively with consumers,” says Sonny Pusey, Delacon’s regional manager for North America. Millennials – now a quarter of the US population – embrace food experiences and make buying decisions that align with their values, Pusey notes. “While they have no prior awareness of phytogenic feed additives, the survey revealed a tremendous opportunity to connect with influential millennial foodies with a story about animal wellness, including how natural plant-based ingredients, such as garlic, cinnamon and thyme, are fed to chickens, pigs and other animals.”

Delacon shares three takeaways on how sharing the phytogenics story can connect with this audience.

1. Millennial foodies care about animal well-being, and the environment

For millennial foodies, the three most important attributes when selecting a specific brand of poultry or meat are ‘raised with good animal welfare practices,’ ‘raised without antibiotics ever,’ and ‘raised in ways that reduce environmental impact,’ outranking ‘certified organic’ or ‘locally raised.’

The benefits of feeding phytogenics to animals, including promoting animal gut health, reducing ammonia emissions by up to 50% and being a proven performer in antibiotic-free production, support a compelling narrative targeting millennial foodies.

2. Phytogenics help millennial foodies feel great about their food choices

Food is a form of social currency, and millennials make buying decisions that provide them with satisfaction or a feeling of superiority. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of millennial foodies say knowing that animals were fed completely natural phytogenics would make them feel great about their food choices. More than half (55%) say they would choose meat and poultry raised with phytogenics to reflect their concern about the environment, animal welfare and natural ingredients.

3. Food brands may be able to motivate purchases by calling out phytogenics on their labels

Among the most compelling findings? If given the opportunity, six out of 10 (59%) millennial foodies ‘would choose meat and poultry raised with phytogenics.’

Delacon aimed to measure whether millennial foodies’ preference for meat and poultry raised with phytogenics would influence their purchase decision, Pusey notes. “Our product concept checked out, showing enormous promise among millennial foodies.” He adds that several label claims were shown to be influential for this segment. Ranking most influential was ‘a special diet that improves overall wellness and strengthens immune system.’ However, ‘fed a diet of natural ingredients that actually reduces greenhouse gas emissions by animals’ and ‘leaves no harmful residues’ also were influential.

Antibiotic free programmes

“Phytogenic feed additives are a natural choice for producers, and a cornerstone for both conventional and antibiotic-free feeding programs,” says the company’s CEO Markus Dedl. “Furthermore, survey findings indicate the story of phytogenics resonates with consumers.” Phytogenics optimise animal performance by supporting nutrient utilisation, as well as gut health and integrity, and make a proven impact on sustainability, and feed and food safety, Dedl says, adding that naturally derived phytogenic feed additives are shown to have greater synergistic effects between active substances than synthetic nature-identical substances.

Emmy Koeleman Freelance editor