Home Unlocking The Potential of Personalized Nutrition

Nutrition plays an important role in our overall well-being, influencing both our physical and mental health. As understanding of the complex relationship between diet and health deepened, the concept of personalized nutrition has emerged as a promising approach to optimize individual dietary choices. Personalized nutrition entails tailoring dietary recommendations to an individual’s unique characteristics, including genetics, metabolism, lifestyle, and health goals. By tailoring the diet to individual needs, personalized nutrition can help manage chronic conditions, support the immune system, enhance energy levels, and reduce the risk of diet-related diseases. Although integration of digital technologies has facilitated the technical advancements and widespread adoption of personalized nutrition, there are still challenges and ethical issues to be addressed, such as data privacy, accuracy of algorithms, and potential biases in data analysis.

Rising consumer awareness, increasing incidences of chronic diseases due to lifestyle changes, and digitalization are some of the major driving factors for personalized nutrition industry. Globally 64% of the consumers showed their interest in personalized nutrition products & services as these are custom tailored to individuals’ style, belief and needs. Despite having tremendous growth potential, the personalized nutrition industry is still facing some technological, social, economic, and regulatory challenges. In this article, we will explore the market dynamics, innovation trends, start-up ecosystem, impact of digitalization, and key-challenges that need to be addressed in personalized nutrition domain.

Market Dynamics


The global personalized nutrition market was estimated at around $8.3 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $21.4 billion by 2028.

North America has the largest share in the overall market of personalized nutrition. Japan, South Korea, and Singapore are the major markets in the Asia-pacific region. The market for personalized nutrition has experienced substantial growth in recent years and is expected to continue expanding. Key drivers for this growth include growing consumer interest, technological advancements, increased health, and wellness trends, rise of preventive health care, and most importantly, the emergence of digitalization. The market for personalized nutrition caters to a diverse range of consumer segments. This includes individuals who are health-conscious, fitness enthusiasts, those with specific dietary restrictions or health conditions, and individuals seeking to optimize their overall well-being. This domain is expected to attract major food and beverage companies, pharmaceutical companies, supplement manufacturers, genetic testing companies, and digitalization players.

Innovations Trends in Personalized Nutrition


In recent years, there have been several exciting innovations in personalized nutrition that have the potential to revolutionize the field. 

  • Diagnostic tools: Diagnostic tools play a crucial role in personalized nutrition by providing valuable insights into an individual’s health status and nutritional needs. These can be used for:
    • Genetic testing of an individual’s DNA to identify specific genetic variations that can influence their response to nutrients and dietary factors.
    • Biomarker analysis to monitor blood glucose, cholesterol levels, vitamin and mineral levels, inflammation markers, and hormone levels.
    • Gut microbiome analysis to analyse the composition and diversity of the gut microbiome through techniques like stool sampling and DNA sequencing).
  • Food recognition apps/ scanners: Food recognition apps have emerged as helpful tools in personalized nutrition, allowing individuals to track their dietary intake accurately and receive personalized recommendations based on their specific nutritional needs. These apps utilize image recognition and machine learning algorithms to identify and analyse the foods consumed.
  • Wearables: These devices can track various aspects of an individual’s health and lifestyle, including physical activity, sleep patterns, heart rate, and even nutrients intake. By collecting real-time data, these devices provide valuable insights into an individual’s nutritional needs and help track their health and the progress towards their fitness goals.
  • Dietary trackers: Dietary trackers play a significant role in personalized nutrition by helping individuals monitor their food intake, track their progress, and make informed choices based on their specific nutritional needs. These trackers can be integrated with the wearable devices such as activity trackers or smartwatches, to provide a more comprehensive overview of an individual’s lifestyle. Beyond food and nutrient logging, dietary trackers may include features to track eating behaviours and habits. Users can record factors such as hunger levels, mealtimes, emotional triggers, or environmental influences.
  • Intelligent packaging: Intelligent packaging includes QR codes or Near Field Communication (NFC) tags that users can scan with their smartphones. These codes or tags provide instant access to detailed product information, such as ingredients, nutritional content, allergens, or even personalized recommendations. Intelligent packaging can also include time-temperature indicators that change colour or display indicators to indicate if a product has been exposed to unfavourable storage conditions.

The Rise of Start-up Players in Personalized Nutrition

Post Covid-19, public awareness regarding the importance of good health for preventing illness has risen tremendously. People are becoming accustomed to customized products and services & having access to real time data concerning their health has paved the way for personalized nutrition to reach to its full potential. Multiple experts are pointing towards the need for a flourishing personalized nutrition ecosystem that can empower customers to adopt a healthy and sustainable dietary practices.

As the market is growing, personalization is happening at different levels and offerings can be categorized as mass (no personalization) to fully personalized. Though fully personalized is major goal for all the active players which essentially requires real time data, but intermediate products and services targeting specific groups like endurance athletes, diabetics or pregnant people, as well as catering to specific dietary requirements or meal subscription services to choose from targeted, fortified/functional foods, etc. are also currently being explored heavily by multiple start-ups players.

The focus of these market offerings can be divided into four major categories, wherein all of them could feature integration of smart devices and the offerings can be attached with digital components thus allowing consumers or patients to keep a check on their vitals as well.

  • Assessment-based: Access to personal information ranging from height, weight, gender, etc. to medical history, diet restrictions, food allergies, etc.
    • Paquet (Singapore) offers customized vitamins, minerals, and supplements (VMS) to cater to the consumers’ needs. The start-up uses a set of questions as an input to be asked to the user about his/her health.
    • Gainful (US) offers personalized protein powder mixes to enhance performance during workouts. The platform also asks simple questions like health goal, current fitness level, exercise regime, etc. as an input data.
    • Verdify (Netherlands) uses artificial intelligence to offer personalized recipes based on consumers’ needs and preferences.
  • Genetic based: Access to genetic information that can be used to determine health or fitness level, etc.
    • DNA Fit (UK) provides complete nutrition programs based around DNA. It uses consumer’s saliva for DNA analysis and gives personalized recommends.
    • Nutri-Genetix (UK) provides a health report and genetically personalized meal-shakes. The company also uses consumer’s saliva to perform dietary DNA testing.
  • Biomarker-based: Access to biomarker-based information utilizing blood tests, etc. to have real-time assessment of nutrient requirements.
    • Loewi (Germany) offers a subscription-based dietary supplements service – Bioniq PRO. The company uses blood test results to understand biomarker profiles.
    • Vitl (UK) provides tailor made vitamins and health advice, based on blood sample tests of vitamin and cholesterol levels. Baze (US) uses a comparable approach to provide personalized VMS packs.
  • Microbiome-based: Access to gut-health information utilizing various samples to understand the gut-microbiome distribution.
    • Brands such as Viome (US) and Biohm (US) lead in this category and offer personalized supplements and probiotics. These players use testing kits to analyze gut microbiome.
  • Predictive Analytics: Players like Zoe (UK) are using big data and Machine Learning (ML) to develop predictive insights associated with the consumer’s response to different food types. Such platforms can be used to analyze the impact of gut microbiome on digestion, metabolism, and overall health.

Some of the active and upcoming start-ups in personalized nutrition segment are listed below:


Though significant advancements in nutrition have taken place, personalized nutrition stands out with its potential for numerous beneficial health outcomes. These solutions encompass a wide range of benefits like weight management, enhancing gut health, and improved motivation. Therefore, the start-up players are bringing up innovative solutions and are focusing on areas like dietary advisors, nutritional genomics, wearables, etc. Over the last few years, vendors and players have been forming strategic partnerships to stay ahead in the game by offering innovative and customer centric solutions. For example, leading medical device manufacturer Medtronic has collaborated with Nutrino (an Israel-based player active in AI and ML), for their AI driven platform to boost their offerings for diabetic patients using Nutrino’s AI- driven platform and predictive glycemic algorithm.


Impact of Digitalization

With the rise of digital platforms, mobile applications, and online resources, personalized nutrition information has reached new heights of accessibility and convenience. Individuals can now access evidence-based resources, educational materials, and interactive tools that can help them understand their unique dietary needs. Digital technologies enable the efficient collection and analysis of personal health data, including dietary logs, activity levels, and health metrics. This data combined with cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms, unleashes the potential for providing personalized recommendations, customized meal plans, and delightful recipe suggestions customized as per the individual’s unique requirements and goals. As digitalization takes center stage, a new era of personalized nutrition emerges in which remote monitoring and telehealth services have become the norm. In turn, these make information more available and accessible for healthcare professionals and registered dietitians. From offering tailored guidance to making real-time adjustments in nutrition plans, technology has transformed how we nurture our bodies and make informed choices. With digitalization enabling the process, taking charge of health has never been more attainable and this is paving the way for improved well-being and a healthier future. Digitalization can facilitate the adoption of personalized nutrition through the following means.

  • Data collection & analysis: Digital tools and platforms allow users to gather and track their health-related data such as physical activity, sleep patterns, blood sugar levels, blood cholesterol, etc. from wearables, fitness trackers, mobile apps, and even genetic testing. Moreover, advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms can process vast amounts of data quickly and identify patterns and correlations.
  • Personalized meal planning: Digital platforms can generate and recommend customized meal plans based on an individual’s dietary preferences, genetics, allergies, nutritional needs, and health goals. These plans may include specifics on recipes and portion sizes to be consumed by the individuals.
  • Behavior tracking: Personalized nutrition tools can help users monitor their progress towards their defined health goals, providing feedback and recommendations to keep them motivated and on track.
  • Remote coaching & support: Digitalization also enables individuals to remotely interact with nutritionists, dietitians, and other health professionals. Through video consultations and messaging, individuals can receive personalized nutrition advice and support without the need for in-person visits, making the overall process more convenient.
  • Integration with E-commerce: Digital platforms can connect health-conscious users with personalized nutrition products and supplements available on E-commerce sites that suit their needs, making it more convenient to follow their customized dietary plans.

Overall, digitalization has transformed personalized nutrition by empowering individuals to take control of their own health, access tailored guidance, and make informed choices for improved well-being. Digital tools can continually improve data accuracy, providing users with more reliable and valuable insights for making informed dietary choices.

Challenges In Personalized Nutrition


While personalized nutrition holds great promise for improving health outcomes, there are several challenges that still need to be addressed to fully realize its potential.

  • Nutritional complexity: One significant challenge is the complexity of the human body and the multitude of factors that influence an individual’s nutritional needs. Factors such as genetics, metabolism, age, sex, lifestyle, and underlying health conditions all play a role in determining the optimal dietary requirements for a person. Developing personalized nutrition plans that accurately consider all these variables requires a deep understanding of human biology and a vast amount of data analysis, making it a challenging task.
  • Data accuracy: It is crucial in personalized nutrition because it forms the foundation for generating relevant and reliable dietary recommendations. Currently available wearables/trackers need regular technical updates to make them more accurate.
  • Privacy concerns: Data privacy is another major challenge in personalized nutrition. Safeguarding personal data from unauthorized access, misuse, or breaches is crucial to maintain trust in personalized nutrition approaches. Stringent privacy protocols, secure data storage, and adherence to ethical guidelines are necessary to protect individuals’ privacy rights and ensure their consent and control over their personal information.
  • Cost and Accessibility: Developing personalized nutrition plans often requires extensive data collection, analysis, and interpretation, which can be expensive. Genetic testing, biomarker assessments, and specialized consultations with healthcare professionals or nutritionists can incur high costs, making personalized nutrition services inaccessible to a large portion of the population. The affordability of these services becomes a barrier, preventing many individuals from accessing the benefits of personalized nutrition and limiting its widespread adoption.
  • Lack of standardized regulatory guidelines: Another challenge in personalized nutrition is the lack of standardized guidelines and regulations. Unlike the general dietary guidelines for the broader population, personalized nutrition considers individual variations, making it challenging to establish universal recommendations. Without clear guidelines, there is a risk of misinformation and the proliferation of unproven or ineffective personalized nutrition products and services.
  • Lack of education and understanding about latest developments: Practitioners of nutrition, such as primary care physicians and dietitians, must stay up to date on the latest developments in personalized nutrition.

Digitalization can play a significant role in solving some of these challenges by leveraging technology to analyze health data, disseminating knowledge and awareness related to personalized nutrition, and facilitating remote consultations with nutrition experts. As digitalization players are also entering into this domain, the personalized nutrition market will witness further disruptions and cross-industry collaborations.


The world is transitioning to a new dietary era, marked by a societal shift from merely consuming what’s available to making healthy and conscious choices. Rethinking and refining our dietary habits has become the norm, as we move towards personalized nutrition tailored to individual needs. Advancements in artificial intelligence and genetics are fueling the shift towards personalized nutrition, also known as “Precision Nutrition.” Personalized nutrition has the potential to bring a new paradigm shift in healthcare domain by offering customized meal plans and progress tracking for individuals based on their unique characteristics and health goals.

Can personalized nutrition help in prevention and reversal of diseases through the modulation of the gut microbiome? Various ongoing studies offer hope for managing chronic ailments by targeting diverse gut microbial colonies that influence metabolism, food absorption, and overall metabolic health. Adhering to personalized nutrition guidelines may lead to significant changes in disease management, with a focus on diet-based biochemistries, insulin regulation, nutrient absorption, and tracking for better outcomes.

Going forward, digital disruption will further take personalized nutrition-based therapy to a level more accessible, personal, and precise than ever before. Technologies like machine learning and big data analytics are ingredients for a go-to recipe transforming the medical nutrition segment. Their integration into wearables, mobiles, smart devices will make such services more accessible to patients.

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