Whether it’s going paleo, vegan or worrying about the amount of micro plastics in bottled water, knowing what’s in your food is becoming more important to more people every day. For consumers and businesses, this extends past what they eat, to what their food, i.e. livestock, eats.
For a variety of reasons, we’re now interested in an all-natural food chain from source to table.
This belief, along with new legislation like the ban of in-feed antibiotics in 2006, has led to a stratospheric rise in the adoption of phytogenic feeds in livestock. Using natural extracts and essential oils, phytogenics represent a holistic and broad-spectrum efficacy that is moving more and more into the mainstream of the animal feed industry.
When doing some research for this article, we found some staggering statistics which represent just how widely adopted phytogenic feed is becoming. In this piece from All About Feed in 2017, the market size is projected to reach $769.5M by 2021 at a CAGR of 7.1%. Then, in a separate article from Poultry World, sales have been touted as expected to grow to $2.5B by the year 2026.
Figures like that are hard to ignore.
The self-proclaimed pioneers, and one of the biggest companies in phytogenics are Delacon– an Austrian business founded in 1988 with a presence in more than 80 countries. In a nod to what is a constantly evolving industry, they’ve made a commitment to investing 10% of their turnover into R&D every year
Pancosma are another player in the space with a rich and varied history. Started in 1947 as an animal feed flavours business, today their 250 staff provide 7 product ranges to more than 75 countries around the world. In another nod to the importance of R&D, they’ve also featured in over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications. Their pursuit of academic acclaim, combined with Delacon’s dedication to R&D just shows how quickly the field is evolving.
Another global business dedicated to giving the industry alternatives to antibiotics are German manufacturer EW Nutrition. With production facilities in Brazil, Japan, US and Germany, they have a strong worldwide presence and are one of the main global specialist in the field of secondary plant compound feed.
Another German business are Phytobiotics – another large business with a presence in over 50 countries - claim to provide the most intelligent solutions for their customers. They also have an interesting approach, having split their business into 2. One business unit, Phytobiotics Futterzusatzstoffe handles the R&D and sales of their animal feed products and the other, Senso Additive looks after technical processes like processing and production.
If Phytobiotics are looking for results through collaborating internal business units then the French Nor-Feed are basing their business on external partnerships. A smaller business, they have just 4 products in their portfolio: Nor-Grape, Citrozest, Norponin and Nor-Oleum and have used these to create several partnerships and joint ventures.
To date, they have approximately 30 collaborators and are represented in more than 30 countries around the world. They’re a newer business, having only been established in 2003 but their approach, which enables them to hitch a ride on the success of other business into new territories, means they’re making great strides to catch up on the likes of Delacon and Pancosma.
Looking at the variety and volume of companies in the space in combination with the forecasted growth and economic outlook of the sector means that the future definitely looks bright for phytogenics.
It will be interesting to see what happens next in this field. In comparison to lots of the other markets Charlton Morris work in, there doesn’t seem to be any huge businesses dominating the market or snapping up the smaller players.
I think a logical progression would be for M&A activity to increase in the future, if the attraction of decreased competition and inorganic growth becomes too much to resist for either a giant multinational or private equity.
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