There is no better way to monitor feed trends than to talk with end-users, retailers, distributors and other feed producers. Modesto Milling participates in many tradeshows each year to get the information we need to stay ahead of the curve on movements and needs within the organic feed community. Shows like the Mother Earth News Fair, The Heirloom Expo and Super Zoo are all examples of how we do mass outreach across the feed “food chain”.
Mother Earth News Fair in Albany, OR (http://www.motherearthnews.com/) is a general interest show that draws 15,000 people from the western states and other parts of the country. There are lots of vendors showcasing organic and handcrafted products but, most importantly, shows like this one and The Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa, CA (http://theheirloomexpo.com/) allow us to tap into grassroots demand, needs and conversations – hearing directly from feed consumers (or at least their owners). These types of conversations actually led to the release of our new Whole Grain Gamebird (#745) and Duck Layer (#755) formulations.
Super Zoo in Las Vegas, NV (http://www.superzoo.org/conference/) is more focused on pet food retailers and distributors. Shows like this one help us connect directly with stores from across the country that market our feeds locally or want to. Additionally, we have the opportunity to interact with industry and pet wellness experts while sharing our experience in the organic space and trends we are seeing in other areas of the country. One of the trends we are seeing amongst pet stores, for instance, is that where they traditionally predominantly served the dog and cat markets, they are now seeing increased interest in backyard poultry, especially for chickens, and also hearing more demand for rabbit and chinchilla feeds.
Watching the entire supply chain from production through distribution and retail to the farmyard or backyard has proven to produce some of our best ideas and helped customers continue to reach their goals. Shows are just one way we do that, though. If you have questions, goals or needs to discuss, you can always reach out directly to Chris Wagner at 209-523-9167 ext.9107 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Andrea Kaldhusdal, Sales/Territory Manager, Southern Region at email@example.com or Lori Bianchi, Sales/Territory Manager, Northern Region at firstname.lastname@example.org.