“To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha
For decades, food and beverage companies used extensive consumer research to manufacture products to satisfy the varied appetites of their target market. With the advent of more consumers seeking healthier foods, manufacturers began tweaking the level of salt, sugar, fat, etc. to promote sales of their existing product offerings. Today, a growing subset of health and wellness consumers’ search for highly personalized nutrition information has opened up an entirely new market.
Personalized nutrition was first popularized by dietitians delivering tailored nutrition advice based on the physical, clinical and emotional needs of their patients/clients. In the past few years, personalized nutrition has slowly evolved into a complex, multifaceted approach. Thanks to technology (e.g., home testing kits, fitness trackers, etc.), numerous data points are analyzed to design an individual’s customized diet. Multiple areas of measurement include an individual’s physical activity, sleep behavior, dietary habits, genetics, blood sugar levels and the emerging science of microbiome (microorganisms in humans including bacteria, fungi and viruses). Despite the recent advancement of personalized nutrition, understanding all the intricate relationships between our eating patterns and our body’s ecosystem is in its infancy.
The Personalized Nutrition Market
As personalized nutrition is gearing up for prime-time, numerous companies have already jumped into the arena. Detailed below are a few of the leading personalized nutrition solutions on the market:
- Nutrigenomix – A University of Toronto biotechnology company launched in 2012. They provide genomic information to facilitate improved health via personalized nutrition to healthcare professionals and their clients around the globe (22 countries, 2,000-plus authorized providers). Their primary saliva collection test kit examines 45 genetic markers that are analyzed at their accredited laboratories to deliver customized nutrition and physical activity recommendations tailored to an individual’s DNA.
- Habit – The company uses an at-home test kit to collect bio samples and analyze more than 60 different biomarkers at their lab. Once the data is evaluated, Habit develops a diet plan based on an individual’s biology, metabolism and personal goals. Habit also offers personalized recipes and one-on-one wellness and nutrition coaching for subscribers. Of note, the San Francisco-based company received financial backing in 2017 from the Campbell Soup Company.
- Orig3n – The privately held Boston-based company has raised more than $30 million since its 2014 launch, validating the continued interest and investment in the personalized nutrition market. Depending on the DNA kit one choses, with cheek-swab technology, consumers will be able to monitor their personalized health – fitness potential, skin care, nutritional needs, etc.
- DayTwo – An Israeli company pioneering in the cutting-edge study of microbiome (the collection of microbes that exist in your gut). They are currently collaborating with Johnson & Johnson to better understand personalized clinical nutrition to combat diabetes. The company collects stool samples from consumers to predict blood sugar responses to different foods. DayTwo’s end result is a recommended personalized dietary plan needed to maintain normalized blood sugar levels 24/7.
Personalized Nutrition 3.0
We expect to see significant growth in the health and wellness food and beverage market, as more and more consumers continue to seek out the plethora of available nutritional information and solutions. We also anticipate AI (artificial intelligence) to impact this market and continue the drive for innovation through new products (e.g., personalized supplements) and services (e.g., customized home delivery meal kits).