Is The Era of Single Products Fading? By Dr. Casey Bradley

Although my newsletters don’t always come on a strict schedule, it’s always because I strive to provide genuine thoughts and insights. This approach has been the essence of my Column in Pig Progress for years. Writing as Casey, not just the Technical Manager for (fill in the blank), allows me that authenticity.

Lately, conversations about the current state of our industry have been top of mind, some of them tough to navigate. Agriculture and the broader economy face undeniable challenges. My business feels the impact too, but I remain hopeful, placing my trust in the Lord’s plan. Here’s a light-hearted thought: Wouldn’t it be perfect if I could have Walmart onboard the very day, we pitch to them? A laughable dream, perhaps, but ambition fuels innovation.

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: Are standalone products becoming obsolete? I genuinely hope the giants in feed additives are contemplating this as they reflect on this year’s performance while setting their sights on 2024.

Take a moment to consider what this implies. Problems abound for producers, signifying a continued demand for solutions. But the nature of those solutions might be evolving.

Let’s use Cargill Animal Nutrition as an example of where I am going with this. They have feed mills, premix plants, distribution, sales, custom feed additives, and soybean meal. You can exchange the name with similar structures like Land O’ Lakes and Alltech. All these companies have secured different components within the supply chain and have developed their own feed additives. It is difficult to sell a phytase as a solution when Cargill can sell me a complete feed formulated and supported to a producer’s exact needs. And even if the customer requests Phytase A vs. B, they have the buying power to help the producer save in the long run.

From my vantage point, serving clients who seek bespoke solutions, it’s clear that the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is waning. Personal example: I had to switch from DSM’s Hy-D to a more cost-effective competitor, despite being a long-time champion of the former. It was a business decision, but it wasn’t easy. My commitment to research and innovation runs deep, and I wish success for every product I’ve been associated with.

However, the present market demands a shift in thinking. I foresee a growing emphasis on solution-based processes, leaning towards custom blends in feed additives. A synergy of products to address specific challenges. This is not a new message from me and something I pushed for over a decade now: synergies that solve a problem, what my company can bring to the table, and where I need to pull from to get the complete package. I will leave it with this question: if you work for a feed additive company, are you prepared for the shift, and can you offer custom blends that may only include 40% of your products?

To my colleagues in the feed additive sector: Are you ready for this shift? Can you pivot towards custom solutions, even if they integrate only a portion of your original offerings?

Do you have concerns? Need to talk? Shoot me an email: