Health is wealth: How millennials are shaping the feed industry
The Covid-19 pandemic has encouraged some consumers of all generations worldwide to take another look at their consumer habits and what they eat. And this is especially true for millennials.
The choices that consumers make when buying food contribute to shaping not only what food we produce but also how we do it.
Over the years, a growing interest in human health and wellbeing have been documented, including more interest in natural, organic and sustainable food products.
Despite all the recent studies on the relationship between Covid-19 and food choices and behavior, the millennials seem to be relatively consistent over the last years. Compared with other generations, millennials seem to be more engaged with food. And this was already seen before the global pandemic started.
The millennials like to pay for quality, healthy and sometimes indulgent food. In other words, millennials are not afraid to pay for what they consider value. Millennials are also often called the wellness generation, because of their interest in human health and wellbeing.
This group of people is considered a highly influential consumer category because of their purchasing power and their interest in everything around food and what it does to them.
Over the last years, Delacon has been commissiong a range of consumer surveys among millennials in Brazil, the United States, and Thailand to learn about their food beliefs and their standpoint regarding meat and the terminology around it.
Results of the latest consumer survey (2020) among millenials in Colombia showed that the majority of Colombian millennials eat fresh food and are careful about what they eat. When buying poultry meat specifically, the most important assets to choose for a specific brand or type are:
- animal welfare
- raised with natural feeds
“More than half of the Colombian millennials say consuming natural food makes them feel healthier.“
Same pattern seen in different regions
These results from Colombia are in line with earlier findings in other regions of the world and shows that millennials care about their food choices, despite the region where they live.
In Brazil, 80% of the millennials find: good animal welfare practices, raised in a sustainable way, raised in ways that reduce environmental impact and raised with no antibiotics ever important when selecting a specific brand of eggs, meat or poultry.
In the US, 9 out of 10 millennial foodies say that knowing their meat or poultry was fed phytogenic ingredients would make a positive impact on their brand choice. The top performing label message tested was: "Fed phytogenic ingredinets to be environmentally friendly."
In Thailand, 9 out of 10 Thai millennial foodies would “choose meat and poultry fed completely natural ingredients, such as phytogenics”and the strongest of the tested phytogenic claim for a brand of chicken or pork meat was “fed a diet that includes phytogenic ingredients which leave no harmful residue.”
Staying connected to consumers
What does these results mean for the way we should raise food-producing animals and what we feed them?
Again, the food choices and demands of the consumer shape our industry and the focus on healthy, green, sustainability seem to be increasing every year, and extra spurred with the outbreak of Covid-19.
Even though the animal nutrition industry is a business to business environment, the connection with the consumer should not be lost.
Millennial surveys are valuable for all businesses that are active in the feed-to-food-chain to meet changing consumer preferences of what animals are fed, how food is produced and how to communicate this in a transparent and clear way to consumers.
Development is one of Karina's main drivers and a true passion, her motto being: Great things never came from comfort zones. At Delacon, she is leading the Organizational Development team, supporting to bring the organization to the next level in various ways.