For many companies, personalised nutrition is considered the next megatrend after plant-based meat alternatives
Mariette Abrahams, founder of Qina
On the 12th October, the third Newtrition X conference took place at Anuga, focusing on the theme of personalised nutrition. Invited by the industry network foodRegio e.V., professionals in medicine, food, nutrition consulting and technology discussed trends and developments in the field of personalised nutrition. The consensus, organisers say, was that the health benefits have been verified, technologies are available and practical examples prove that implementation is feasible. Michael Gusko, Chair of the focus group for personalised nutrition at foodRegio, as well as Global Director of Innovation, GoodMills Group, told attendees: “Personalised nutrition is a reality and you should care because technology is disrupting your business model.” The knowledge that people react completely differently to the same foods must lead to a change in thinking, he said.
For many companies, personalised nutrition is considered the next megatrend after plant-based meat alternatives, suggested Peter Heshof, founder of the trend and marketing agency Bloom. According to his Zeitgeist model, trends repeat themselves cyclically, and we are currently at the beginning of a phase that revolves around "taking back control, rationality and scientificity, as well as individual delimitation, thus opening the door to personalised nutrition".
Dr Torsten Schröder, Medical Director at Perfood, spoke about potential health benefits associated with personalised nutrition. The start-up offers a nutrition programme based on a two-week blood glucose screening. “80% of diseases are related to nutrition,” said Schröder. In clinical studies, personalised nutrition recommendations reportedly showed improvements in acne, migraine, psoriasis and polycystic ovary syndrome. From a medical point of view, precision nutrition is extremely important in the treatment of systemic diseases, claimed Prof Dr Christian Sina, Director of the Institute of Nutritional Medicine at the University of Lubeck.
Benedikt Kurz, Business Development Manager at Garmin Health, spoke about the technological side of personalised nutrition. “With a wearable, we can increase motivation, give easier access to health information and better rehabilitation, with an expert receiving data 24/7.” In the future, generic nutritional concepts could be replaced by individual recommendations thanks to wearables that communicate with smart patches for measuring blood sugar or vitamins, for example. Melissa Snover, founder of Nourished, explored how micronutrients can be delivered to customers in a personalised way. The company uses 3D printing to produce so-called stacks, chewy sweets that contain nutrients tailored to individual needs.
For the nutrition revolution to succeed, an open ecosystem of personalised nutrition is needed, argued Mariette Abrahams, founder of the Qina platform. She suggested individual companies should be discouraged from covering all areas, from science to technology. Instead, she believes various partners should share their expertise for a “better consumer experience, improved consumer value, and health outcomes.” Nutritionists are an important link in this chain, says Rachel Clarkson, founder of The DNA Dietitian and a nutritionist herself.