Personalised nutrition has been pushed into the spotlight with consumers demonstrating a heightened awareness and concern for their health owing to the continued COVID pandemic. This heightened awareness has led to consumers seeking digital solutions, tools and products that can help them prevent, manage and treat their health concerns. Despite a sea of available solutions, many solutions are launched unchecked and unproven, potentially exposing the public to misinformation and unsafe advice. The goal of personalised nutrition is to provide dietary and lifestyle advice that is rooted in the science, and data-driven to guide individuals to live healthier lives. With this in mind, Qina has launched the first global personalised nutrition platform which aims to close the gap between industry players and frontline practitioners to increase transparency and simplify the process of navigating current solutions in the personalised nutrition marketplace using a unique Qina score.
Personalised nutrition market background
A recent report by UBS estimated that the personalised nutrition industry would grow to $64billion by 2040 (1). This is quite an impressive growth from where we were in 2020 with an estimated $4 billion. From the industry’s humble beginning in nutrigenetics or DNA diets in 2006 (2), today the landscape looks very different covering a wide selection of solutions ranging from food logging and dietary assessment all the way to personalised nutrition devices and supplements and managing chronic diseases (3). Whilst there is considerable hype around personalised nutrition from a marketing perspective, adoption to date has been limited to early adopters who have an interest in health & wellbeing. A combination of factors such as lack of consumer understanding of what personalised nutrition entails, or what the benefits of a personalised approach are, remain challenges the industry must overcome. In addition, slow adoption of digital tools by frontline practitioners who are trusted advisors, makes personalised nutrition sometimes a step too big for many individuals or even practitioners (4).
Yet despite this, online searches for functional foods, immune health, nutrition and DYI (home) nutrition programs are at an all time high (5), some with potentially dangerous consequences (6). With an increased focus on functional benefits of foods and solutions, the importance of science and scientific evidence has enjoyed increased attention and focus. Consumers want to see proof of how a solution will work or benefit them. This demand coincides with the growing body of evidence supporting the benefits of a personalised approach in terms of health outcome sand behaviour change (7). Whilst one recent Australian study found greater behaviour change using a personalised approach with video and Dietetic support (8) another UK study found that real-time feedback for grocery shopping based on loyalty card data leads to modest reduction in saturated fat intake (9). Finally, a recent systematic review of 15 studies concluded that a personalised nutrition approach is superior to generic dietary advice (10). This means that personalised nutrition is far from a trend, and more likely to be a long-term strategy nutrition, food and health companies will need to prioritise. With more people focusing on prevention, it is only a matter of time before personalised nutrition becomes everybody’s responsibility and business within the value chain.
The opportunity for access, transparency and equality
With a growing body of evidence in favour of a personalised approach, increased consumer demand and interest in foods that improve health, and falling prices, we are moving towards a market that keeps shifting and sprawling across industries. Rapid advances in digital technologies are powering new partnerships, are leading to expanding company offerings and creating business models. This means that what may be relevant today, may be gone or unrecognisable next year and we need better ways of bridging the gap between how solutions are developed and what consumers need. While we have the attention of so many stakeholders in the industry, there is an opportunity right now, to ensure that new solutions don’t worsen inequality and that digital tools are leveraged to reach those who need it the most. In addition, with so many new solutions coming onto the marketplace, it is important that transparency and privacy remain top priorities to ensure that solutions based on evidence are clearly separated from those based on evangelism. However, this is often easier said than done, owing to the lack of regulation in terms of wellness/lifestyle solutions in the marketplace, as well as those that are providing nutrition services or online content. Our own research conducted with businesses and frontline practitioners revealed that companies found it not only difficult to stay on top of what is happening in the marketplace, they also found it challenging to navigate current solutions in terms of their scientific approach or consumer acceptance.
As leaders, experts and entrepreneurs in personalised nutrition, our vision for the future, is one where individuals of all backgrounds know and understand what works best for their own bodies to optimise their health and prevent or delay the onset of diseases. We believe in a future where individuals understand what to eat and how what they choose, affects their health. We also believe in the power of digital tools to inform, educate and influence important decisions individuals make about their food, their environment and their health. There is no better time than right now, to communicate consistently and clearly about the benefits of a personalised approach.
About the Qina platform
The Qina platform is the first of its kind to bridge this chasm between industry and practice. The platform consists of an online curated and scored database of solutions within the personalised nutrition industry. Users (which can be companies or practitioners) can navigate solutions by company name, tag, keyword or can compare companies by segment using our proprietary Qina score. The Qina score is calculated out of 100, based on our own criteria on what makes a personalised nutrition solution great such as: availability of scientific evidence, access to experts, privacy, adherence to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and team diversity to name a few.
Whilst users can keep track of how a segment is growing and track new players in the industry, it is also possible to top up a Qina subscription to access domain expertise for projects and market insights.
The Qina personalised nutrition platform is aimed at companies operating in the Food & Beverage, digital health, functional food and nutrition supplements industry.
The Qina personalised nutrition platform is available on subscription and new improvements are constantly being made.
For more information about the Qina platform, or to book a demo, sign up at https://qina.tech
- Sterling, R. The on-line promotion and sale of nutrigenomic services. Genet Med 10, 784–796 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1097/GIM.0b013e31818c0441
- Qina competitive landscape map (https://qina.tech/map)
- EIT Artificial Intelligence activities report 2019 https://eit.europa.eu/sites/default/files/eit_ai_report_04-online.pdf
- Google trends reveal global nutrition focus Nutraingredients. https://www.nutraingredients.com/Article/2020/10/12/COVID-19-Google-trends-reveal-global-nutrition-focus
- Gordon, W.J., Landman, A., Zhang, H. et al. Beyond validation: getting health apps into clinical practice. npj Digit. Med. 3, 14 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41746-019-0212-z
- Rollo, M.E.; Haslam, R.L.; Collins, C.E. Impact on Dietary Intake of Two Levels of Technology-Assisted Personalized Nutrition: A Randomized Trial. Nutrients 2020, 12, 3334
- Piernas C, Aveyard P, Lee C, Tsiountsioura M, Noreik M, Astbury NM, et al. (2020) Evaluation of an intervention to provide brief support and personalized feedback on food shopping to reduce saturated fat intake (PCSHOP): A randomized controlled trial. PLoS Med 17(11): e1003385. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pmed.1003385
- Rachael Jinnette, Ai Narita, Byron Manning, Sarah A McNaughton, John C Mathers, Katherine M Livingstone, Does Personalized Nutrition Advice Improve Dietary Intake in Healthy Adults? A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials, Advances in Nutrition, , nmaa144, https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmaa144