There is no doubt that the world consumes a lot of meat. In fact, in 2020, the US alone consumed about 27 billion pounds of meat, spending around $200 billion. The meat comes from animals that need to be fed, nurtured and cared for before slaughter. As a result, you can explore a massive market in the animal feed industry. The market grows in leaps and bounds every year with the population and economy expanding, e.g. Dengie Farm Feeds, founded in 1968, is still expanding their market and improving their technique to adapt to the demand even today.
With such a huge demand for animal feeds, it is no surprise that many people have grasped the opportunity and built a business around the concept. But with such a competitive and demanding market, How do you outdo the established companies? One thing that you should remember is that large companies rely on economies of scale to thrive. They bank on selling volumes while keeping prices down to stay competitive. If new in the market, this may not be possible. You may need to start slow and grow from there to compete.
Local Market Research
Proper research is vital before starting an animal feed production company. While every business owner dreams and wants to cover a more extensive region, the best approach is to start with your area. Once you establish yourself locally, you can expand and grow your business. Get help from the The Tier Group for Great market research advices.
Your local market research should start by identifying the farm animals kept in the region. You could begin with cattle feed for residents that keep cattle since it’s a ready market for your product. With this strategy, you can cut costs on transportation and delivery.
Availability of Raw Materials
Consider the availability of raw materials, your primary raw material being locally available foliage, since this will help you cut down on costs. However, it is impossible to source raw material locally, especially if you want to create high-quality feeds like those made from lucerne high in nitrogen. In such a situation, you will need to do proper research on getting the lucerne delivered to you by contacting farmers who grow the foliage and coming up with an agreement, working with wholesalers who already have the workforce and equipment to deliver the foliage to your doorstep.
As we have mentioned, the best approach is to identify the animals kept in the area and focus on them first. After identifying the livestock, you want to produce feeds for, identify your market. But you need to go a step further and identify:
The spending capacity of your target market: You need to learn about the budgets the local farmers have at their disposal. Imagine coming up with a fantastic animal feed brand but having priced out the local farmers; this would make it very difficult to grow your business.
Norms and culture: Farming culture is different in different states, with some states like Texas preferring ranches and others with less space preferring zero grazing. The farming culture goes as deep as what the farmers feed their livestock. By identifying the farming norms, you can develop a more geared to the local market.
Competition: The odds are that most farmers already produce or buy their feeds from another company. The trick is, do you offer more value to the farmer? By analyzing the competition, you can acquire valuable intel that you can use to outdo your competition by filling the market gap they do not.
The equipment you purchase plays a vital role in the quality of the end product. The equipment you buy depends on the animal feed you want to produce. Some animal feeds come in powder form, other pellets and others just dried foliage. The equipment may be the most costly part of your venture but will determine the direction your business takes.
The most overlooked part of an animal feed production business is the formula. Sure, you may not be inventing anything new, but your “ingredients” need to be high quality and suitable for the animal. Take cattle, for example; ruminants need nitrogenous feeds to thrive. If you decide to produce feed for ruminants like cows, you will need to enforce your formula with nitrogenous plants, which also have a high fibre content.
As you can see, an animal feed production company can have several challenges. The tricky part is proper research and high-quality feeds. The fun part is growing the business. However, with the right approach, it can be a lucrative business.