I recently came across a fascinating product aimed at dairy farmers. Check out the video below, which shows a cow enjoying the product, called the BlissBrush, which is designed to help dairy cows reduce stress, enjoy themselves and stay clean. I was not only fascinated by the video itself, but also by the fact that it represents a well-reasoned response to consumer trends for farm products on the part of its marketer.
Today’s consumers and especially many young consumers have a desire to know more about the products they buy, including food products. Driven by an increased awareness of and empathy toward the care of production animals, products aimed at enhancing the quality of food and/or improving the quality of life on farm animals are becoming more common. This is evident in the increased prevalence of marketing of organic, non-GMO foods, cage-free eggs, free-range chicken and the reduction of use of hormones in dairy production.
The BlissBrush is part of a significant trend among farmers toward the adoption of products and management practices that improve what’s known as “cow comfort.” Data indicates that comfortable cows are healthier, happier and more productive. A recent study conducted at Cornell University suggests that the purchase of cow brushes by farmers pays off as well, finding that milk production increases by 3.5% in second lactation cows.
I asked Eric Schreiber, CEO of Harmony Marketing Partners, who is actively involved in the marketing of this product to farmers for his take on why he believes the BlissBrush, versions of which have already been popular in Europe, as to why he believes this product is starting to catch on with U.S. farmers. He states:
“Cows, like all animals, have a natural need and desire to scratch itches, to be massaged, cleaned and groomed. Recent scientific studies indicate that cows are equally motivated to access a brush as they are to access food, indicating a high need for these benefits. Providing access to an automatic rotating cow brush like the BlissBrush, allows cows to relieve these needs, decrease stress, improve cleanliness and have a more enriched environment. Farmers are always interested in improving the health, care and overall welfare of their animals, and to them, they see advantages in providing cow comfort, improving hygiene and increasing production. Data shows cows with access to brushes produce more milk.”