Personalised nutrition is an emerging market, it is seen as one of the key ways to stimulate consumers towards a healthy and sustainable diet. It could also be a way to bridge the worlds of food and healthcare, and a more holistic concept of ensuring that consumers can be in the driver’s seat when it comes to their nutritional choices. But what exactly is personalised nutrition? And what are its challenges related to health and sustainability?
Why personalised nutrition?
Everyone is different. This is certainly true when it comes to nutrition and health. Foods that seem to have no effect on one person may be a way to illness or disease for another. Good advice may be perceived completely differently. Personalisation could be a solution. It puts the consumer in control of a healthier lifestyle.
So personalised nutrition holds tremendous potential to improve human health. But despite exponential growth, the field had yet to be clearly delineated and a consensus definition of the term "personalised nutrition" had not been developed until now.
What is personalised nutrition?
Having clarity about what personalised nutrition is and what it is not, is a prerequisite to be able to discuss the topic and set important steps towards a mature market. In our position paper the following definition has been agreed upon:
‘Personalised nutrition could be a service or a product. It uses individual-specific information, is founded in evidencebased science and has the goal to give consumers control and promote a positive, sustainable dietary behavioural change. This may then result in measurable benefits for personal goals like health improvement and health maintenance, or disease specific benefits.’
Personalisation is the veritable gold standard for many specialised nutrition brands and for good reason. Foodvalley’s Food & Health innovation lead, Judith van der Horst will further develop and strengthen the personalised nutrition ecosystem. “We do so by building a personalised nutrition community and guide parties on direction, process, content and pace. We set the agenda, develop programs, challenges, support and connect parties in the personalised nutrition ecosystem.”