Personalised diets are being cooked up in the lab
01 September 2014
Personalised medicine is making its way into the US, with blood tests becoming the heart of changes to the way consumers see their health. As more millennials are taking a closer interest in their health and looking for new ways to catch early signs of health issues, Canadean predicts that personalised diets based on DNA tests will soon gain traction among the UK consumers.
A recent Canadean survey found that 45% of consumers in the UK would be interested in personalised skin care products based on expert laboratory examinations, with a further 54% saying they would be willing to provide blood, skin and hair samples for laboratory testing. Similarly, Theranos in the US, has developed a health monitoring programme which monitors health through regular blood tests. These tests consist of one single drop of blood which is analysed. Based on results, any changes can be easily detected, thus helping detect health issues much earlier on.
As the lines between healthcare and food in the UK are already blurring, Canadean believes it will not be long before this idea shifts onto personalised diets, with 10.3% of food consumption in the UK being driven by the desire for products based on the consumer’s individual needs. Joanne Hardman, analyst at Canadean comments: “As consumers take more interest in their health and aging consumers look to maintain or slow-down age-related issues, diets tailored specifically for these consumers based on their specific DNA will grow in popularity.”
Potential opportunities for brands and supermarkets
This new innovation offers great potential for brands and supermarkets to capitalise on this idea, and partner with hospitals and blood testing laboratories to offer tailor-made diets based on consumer’s blood test results. These blood tests can measure issues such as kidney and liver function, meaning diet plans can be made to aid these issues and slow down any further damage.
Hardman says, “Personalised nutrition and diet plans could really be a hit in the UK, with consumers making more of an active effort to change their diets and improve their lives. DNA diet plans will be trusted if they work alongside the NHS and trusted names.”
To date, Nestlé has capitalised on the trend with the development of the Iron Man program - a coffee machine style piece of equipment which analyses what is missing in a consumer’s diet and then tailors a product to help make up the differe0nce.
The personalised diet based on DNA will offer great potential for brands and supermarkets to capitalise on this idea, and partner with hospitals and blood testing laboratories to offer tailor-made diets based on consumer’s blood test results.
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