Bulletin, India, August 30, 2018
Source: The Economic Times
Nestle, the parent company behind Maggi noodles, is gearing up to provide personalized nutrition assistance via a program that collects DNA samples from consumers and prepares healthy supplement-snacks to boost immunity, longevity and metabolism.
It has launched a pilot in Japan, titled the 'Nestle Wellness Ambassador' program with about 100,00 active users. Here, consumers can send pictures of their food via an app called 'Line', and the app then recommends lifestyle supplements and specially formulated supplements for every individual. The program costs about $600 every year, and provides capsules to account for missing nutrients, minerals and vitamins in the form of teas, smoothies and snack bars. The program also includes a home-kit that allows users to submit samples for blood and DNA testing, which further strengthens the program in terms of identifying susceptibility to common ailments such as high cholesterol disorders, diabetes, etc.
“Most of the personalized approach is driven by smaller companies, that’s why it was fairly limited. Nestle is taking a further step. They’re trying to figure out the algorithm between the test results and the genetic information and what they recommend as a solution. If they could do it, it’s a very big step.” - Ray Fujii, (Partner at L.E.K. Consulting in Japan)
Nestle’s pilot program in Japan signals a massive change in direction for the 152-year-old company. Nestle recently sold off its U.S. candy unit this year, owing to lowered demand for sugary treats. They have also made a series of investments targeted at healthier options, such as the vegetarian meal maker Sweet Earth Foods, and the food delivery service called Freshly. In March, Nestle acquired the Canadian dietary supplements maker Atrium Innovations for $2.3 billion , marking its biggest medical-nutrition purchase in over a decade.