Scientific and tech advances are creating opportunities for food brands, retailers, food service operators and tech startups to create products and solutions that meet rising interest in personalized and lifestyle-based nutrition, according to a report released by trend forecaster WGSN.
This, as the personalized nutrition market is poised for growth and expected to reach an estimated $1.1 billion in sales by 2024, WGSN client services specialist Tess Duncan-Schrey said in a webinar.
Duncan-Schrey thus highlighted future product development for all lifestyles across categories, including packaged food and drink, food service, and menus, among others.
She cited its 2024 Health and Wellness Forecast indicating that personalized food and drink solutions are becoming increasingly democratized and emerging into the mainstream.
These will grow to cater to all lifestyles, offering wide product development opportunities, she said.
“By offering personalized nutrition choices, you’re providing people with options to help them gain a better perspective on how their lifestyle is affecting their long-term health. Look to emerging health concerns that people are experiencing or to the growth of different types of wearables that people are using to assess their health needs as potential targets for developing new personalized nutrition offerings,” she added.
Duncan-Schrey said the key advances to watch include gut microbiome and custom prebiotics and probiotics, evolution of nutrigenomics, hormone-supportive food and drink, democratizing solutions, smart health ecosystems, and dietary personalization in food service.
She said companies involved in providing personalized nutrition services are using different techniques to reveal insights into the genetics of the microbiome to help scientists and doctors recommend nutritional approaches tailored to each person.
As consumers look to different diets and foods to better their overall health, they are also exploring the field of nutrigenomics to help shed light on a host of health issues, she added.
“Helping consumers to understand the science behind at-home nutrigenomic testing kits will go a long way in developing trust in this emerging field,” Duncan-Schrey said.
As women’s health and nutritional needs are taking center stage, she said one area that has gained increased interest is how hormones affect various aspects of health and wellness.
Duncan-Schrey said companies thus have an opportunity to continue the normalization of menstruation and menopause through testing kits and apps that educate women about hormone health, then corresponding food and drink.
She said now is the time to take an inclusive approach to personalized nutrition offerings as health and wellness issues continue to capture consumers’ attention
“Retailers can expand loyalty programs to include personalization, while meal kit providers can develop offerings that appeal to underserved consumer segments,” she added.
With technology advancing, Duncan-Schrey said more consumers are demanding personalized options from brands and retailers as a way to take greater control of their health.
“Keep abreast of emerging technology that can allow for enhanced health diagnostics and customized digital nutrition support to consumers. Expect more services that provide information to consumers in real time as next-gen smart devices and health monitoring services that quantify data on a continuous basis are developed,” she said.
Further, food service operators are finding new ways to connect with consumers by utilizing platforms that can personalize food choices based on tastes or dietary restrictions.
“In the hyper-competitive food service sector, restaurants and meal kit providers can use personalized nutrition offerings to set themselves apart from the competition and attract consumers who are
looking for personalized offerings,” she added.