Bringing personalized nutrition to the conscious consumer

How NZMP functional proteins are contributing to the rising trend of personalized nutrition.

20 Apr 2020

3 min

#All Categories #Global #Insights

Using genetic testing for creating tailored diets

Consumers are open to trying new diets for supporting general health and wellness.  This sentiment is significantly higher among younger consumers, who are also more likely to be interested in personalized nutrition plans based on their DNA.

Interestingly, Mintel predicts that following a personalized nutrition plan tailored to a consumer’s unique genetic profile could be commonplace by 2030. The expense of DNA testing is a current barrier to widespread use, but this will change as more brands come to market.[1]

NZMP Sports and Active Lifestyle

How do we define personalized nutrition?

Personalized nutrition is most well-known as being comprised of nutrition plans or products that have been tailored to suit consumers based on genetic testing.

Personalized nutrition is creating a drive for ingredient suppliers to fully understand how their different products address the individual needs of consumers

Angus Rowland | Sales Manager of Sports & Active Nutrition, Europe, Fonterra

Angus also notes the difference between personalization and segmentation in the market.  A lot of what we see on the market to be considered 'personalization' is, in fact, segmentation.  Segmentation is not determined by genetic testing; it's where consumers are grouped based on their specific needs, and ingredients are cleverly developed and/or marketed to make consumers feel those individual needs are being met. 

Consumer demand is rising for segmented products. With segmentation continuing to see success in the market, we can expect to see this success prompt even more innovation in the space of personalization also. 

Fonterra is jumping on the forefront of this rising trend by participating in new product development in proteins.  In particular, developing different functional proteins that provide the flexibility required to fulfil consumer demands for personalized food. 

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Functional proteins are unique in that , with different attributes, they can provide the right nutrition in any application – whether that be in a protein powder, drink or bar format.  This makes it an excellent product to support the unique nutritional needs of individual consumers.

For example, two different types of whey proteins may appeal to two very different sets of consumers.  A whey protein isolate (WPI), with its higher protein percentage is different from a whey protein concentrate (WPC) and can be targeted that way. 

Whey Protein Isolate that has a very high BCAA triggers muscle anabolism and so supports physical performance for high-intensity athletes. Differently, some specific WPCs that contain complex lipids could support someone focused on gut health and cognition.

Adding other specialty ingredients to address consumers physiological needs, for example, specific pre- or probiotics strains, will help balance the microbiome or provide other specific benefits to those who need it. 

Growth to come in the future of personalization and genetic testing

As this trend continues to grow, technology improves and the cost of DNA testing decreases, we will likely see increased popularity in DNA testing for the specific purpose of tailoring diets and supplements to individuals. 

Rowland says "Data-driven systems such as apps that closely monitor the consumer will become more advanced and link into nutrition subscription packages".  We can therefore see this trend and type of nutrition becoming more consumer-friendly in future. 

Read the original article at Nutrition Insight.

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[1] Mintel report - Consumer Approach to Nutrition - US - January 2020

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