Integration and good science are key to personalized add-ons

If you ask Shawn Bushouse, president of emerging brands at Nestlé Health Science, the parent company behind Persona, consumers’ understanding of nutrition has become much more complex in recent years. “They know there is no such thing as a universal supplement for everyone,” he said. They need a regimen tailored to their age, diet, lifestyle, health goals, etc. For some, this can be achieved by simply traveling to the local supplement store, where you will find formulations specific to gender, condition and age. This is one end of the personalized spectrum and presents how the supplement market has traditionally operated in the past. This is what Vous Vitamin co-founder Romi Block calls “light personalization.”

At the other end of the spectrum is precision nutrition, Block says, which requires biological and genetic tests – from blood and urine tests to stool and hair sampling – to help consumers calibrate their routine supplements. The challenge with this approach is that it can be very expensive and requires invasive diagnostics, constant monitoring and a huge amount of pills. “Science can sometimes be speculative at best, and in most cases it fails to deliver utility back to the end user, which is commensurate with the cost of the service,” Block said, adding that only a small subset of users are even interested in this level of service.

Between these two extremes, however, is where most of the custom supplements market lives. “These services, which include Vous Vitamin, make personalization accessible and accessible to varying degrees, while giving consumers navigation, advice and product refinement based on their individual data that they can’t find on the mass market,” Block said.

Top trends

According to PAAX co-founder Cameron Cogswell, personalized supplements and nutrition have become as important – and as modern – as personalized clothing and cars, and brands are growing to offer different services to meet different consumer needs. “The biggest trend to personalize the market right now is vitamin-specific packaging,” she says, “based on both subjective and objective measurements of their own health.”

Another leading trend is the provision of targeted nutritional solutions for specific health problems. “In our experience, people are more engaged and satisfied when they can focus on a specific problem and see results and progress toward their goals,” said James Bowley, chief development officer at Hologram Sciences. For example, the concept of the d.velop brand focuses on immunity, in particular on the state of vitamin D. Consumers test at home to determine their vitamin D levels, are equipped with their own, fast-acting supplement and are connected to a mobile application , which provides training guidelines on additional lifestyle elements that can optimize immunity. Bauly sees a place in the market for such personalized supplement services that support menopause, sports and lifestyle issues, healthy aging and mental health.

But the most important thing about services today, Block says, is that they are backed by science. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a return to science and consumers were looking for reliable experts in the field,” she said. That’s why Persona, for example, has a medical advisory board made up of practitioners, nutritionists and pharmacists who help design the nutrition algorithm. They also test all Persona formulations against peer-reviewed research to make sure they are science-based.

The future of personalization

As the personalized food industry matures and grows, Bushouse expects testing and evaluation to become more detailed, allowing for more careful monitoring and faster wording centers. In addition, integration with other services has the potential to become more streamlined.

“Nutrition is just one aspect of wellness; “A healthy lifestyle is to eat well, to exercise, to sleep properly, to take care of your mental health,” he said. “Suppliers exist to meet the needs in many of these areas, but in general they are still isolated. I think that will change. ” In particular, Bushouse sees consumers subscribing to fully integrated future lifestyle services that include supplements along with resources to support other areas of healthy living.

Vous Vitamin is entering this field as it has recently collaborated to integrate supplementation and education into a leading diabetes management platform. “These new partnership models bring new consumers to market, allowing them to learn and engage with their standard environment without having to look for a special online vitamin solution,” Block said.

Environmental concerns will also lead to change in the future, Block added, as consumers shun waste and waste packaging. These consumers will not tolerate the many packets, bottles, liquid cups, etc. that are often components of a personalized diet.

Looking even further into the future, Cogswell believes that when personalization becomes the norm, hyperpersonalization will be next. “The measurement tools we use to determine what nutrients we need will become more accurate, both in type and quantity and over time,” she said. “Over the next 10 years, we claim that nutrition will be personalized within a minute. You can wake up and scan your fingerprint or drop of blood to determine the exact ratios of macronutrients, micronutrients or water you need for the day. This is a very exciting time for this industry, and as we adopt more and more technology, it is crucial to stay in touch with nature, natural foods and a holistic approach to health and healthcare. “

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