Tracking Consumer Preferences
As consumer demand for protein grows, the animal health market is advancing its current product and services offerings enabling livestock producers to deliver on consumer preference of environmentally sustainable protein. Aimpoint Research's April 2021 Consumer Tracker Survey shows consumers prefer to purchase from food and beverage companies because of their practices and policies on sustainability and climate change. Gen Z is more likely to prefer these attributes over any other generation. There are ongoing launches, development and approval of new products that reduce methane and ammonia emissions, allowing farmers to raise more livestock while reducing their environmental footprint.
One example of this is Elanco Animal Health's recent announcement that Health Canada had approved Elanco's Experior 50, a new concentration of Experior for the reduction of ammonia gas emissions per kilogram of live weight and hot carcass weight during the last 14 to 91 days on feed. It acts by increasing nitrogen (amino acid) uptake and the amount of nitrogen retained in the carcass as muscle protein and reducing the amount of urea excreted in manure.
In addition to established animal health companies, start-ups in this space are beginning to receive more funding. In 2019, AgFunder reported approximately $50 million was invested in environmental animal ag tech startups. Many of the companies are in very early stages of development such as Mootral focused on the gut and microbiome and ZELP, which looks at capturing methane emissions in the field. Feed supplements such as seaweed grown by Blue Ocean Barns and Volta Greentech’s Seafeed, reduces enteric methane emissions by up to 80% when fed to cows at a daily dose of 100 grams.
As policy shapes action on emissions, President Biden’s climate change executive order is spurring new products and services from animal health companies to position livestock production as part of the solution opposed to being an easy target to eliminate. However, FDA approval and verification of emission reducing product claims, and advancements in data service offerings will be important. If the U.S. livestock industry is able to achieve aggressive climate goals ahead of other global competitors, the U.S. could have a competitive advantage as international trading partners look to achieve their own climate goals by evaluating the food they consume.