Millennials the most vocal generation of all overwhelmingly committed to health and wellness. At the same time they are striving to pass this legacy to their children – Gen Z. Mental fitness, sweating it out, good nutrition, eating healthy and trying various diets is a trend that will live on forever. With several industries offering a wide variety of healthy options to choose from, Nestle has come up with a personalized nutrition plan for its customers.
Nutrition for ‘one’ and ‘all’
The “Nestle Wellness Ambassador” program allows each of its 100,000 users in Japan to follow a personalised nutrition plan backed by AI, DNA testing and by information gleaned from their Instagram accounts. Users are requested to send pictures of their food through Neslte Line app which then advises lifestyle hacks along with specially formulated supplements. The entire program costs $600 per year which includes capsules for making nutrient-rich teas, smoothies and vitamin-fortified snacks. Samples of blood and DNA testing are collected via a home kit which help in identifying illness in initial phase. Bloomberg reports that the blood tests are provided by Halmek Ventures Inc. while Japan-based Genesis Healthcare Co. performs the genetic analysis.
“Health problems associated with food and nutrition have become a big issue,” said Kozo Takaoka, head of the company’s business in Japan, in an interview in Tokyo. “Nestle must address that on a global basis and make it our mission for the 21st century.” he added.
The products prepared during mass production are generic. Keeping in mind the mood of its health-focused customers the company has launched the program for customers looking for food that are nutritious to oneself. The individual nutrient cocktail tailored approach is reached by calculating the nutrient level or wellness of an individual through blood and DNA testing. Using AI the so called ‘nutraceuticals’ i.e. food-derived ingredients, are packed into ready to use capsules which are based on the needs of each of their users. These nutraceuticals, interestingly are derived from natural sources and are processed less to maintain almost all of its nutrient benefits.
“In the 21st century, innovation is using the internet and AI to solve problems that our customers didn’t realize they had, or problems they had given up on,” said Takaoka, who famously prepares KitKat chocolate wafer of several flavors by using green tea and numerous other natural ingredients.
Optimum nutrition in a capsule?
Analysts vouch that the Nestle’s approach will inspire the food industry. But in spite of the increasing number of satisfied users, the company might be at disadvantage. Supporting addition of supplements (even if natural) to food still looks artificial. Mixing the idea of nutrition rich food by addition of capsules (or supplements) will be hard to stomach. The customized food might sound like consuming synthetic food to many. “Decades in the future, all companies will probably have to be doing it,” said Jon Cox, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux. “The industry has probably had a setback as consumers also want natural and less processed products while adding supplements is seen as artificial or creating Frankenstein food.” No matter what analysts suggest, as for now customer buy in number for Nestle health products is increasing. The idea of individual nutrient food is booming. Customers dedicated to Nestle personalized nutrition plan feel healthier by eating right, making appropriate lifestyle changes and in fact taking personalized nutrient capsules based on their blood/ DNA reports.
Will Gen Z reshape the market?
Needless to say the effect of the attitude of youngest generation can already be seen on the brand marketing or rather marketing. Both millennials and the Gen Z seem to care less about brand loyalty compared to older generations. They constantly search for value added products and settle for nothing less but the best! Hence it is important for businesses to adapt. Investing in technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality will help businesses to strengthen relationships with their customers. It would help in accurately predict shopping needs and behaviors of its tech-savvy customers.
Is ‘personalized’ food experience the answer? Let us know in the comments below