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Lux Research Offers Deep Dive Into Success Requirements for Personalized Nutrition

Lux Research

Details key steps to avoid "fad diet" fate and deliver on promise as the "next big focus in food"

BOSTON, MA – July 25, 2018 – Calling personalized nutrition the next big focus in food, the team at Lux Research, a leading provider of tech-enabled research and advisory services about technology innovation, has served up an analysis of the key commercialization requirements for products and services seeking to deliver personalized dietary recommendations to consumers. This deep dive defines personalized nutrition, lays out success factors, maps the current landscape, and highlights potential pitfalls as well as new market opportunities.

“Based on the number of new companies, partnerships, and investments, it’s clear there’s a lot of momentum in the personal nutrition space. But we have to ground ourselves and remember that, although sophisticated, these solutions are still, at their core, diets,” said Thomas Hayes, analyst and author of Lux Research’s personalized nutrition analysis. “The challenge will be in evolving these offerings so that they don’t peak as fads, but rather deliver sustained consumer value and commercial success. Even beyond reaching commercial success, personalized nutrition offers the potential to serve as a key disease prevention tool. Our deep dive pulls from the learnings of failed diets, offers a framework to assess current personalized nutrition offerings, and pinpoints new business models to help enable personalized nutrition as a disease prevention mechanism.”

The recipe for success:

Based on a review of the successes and failures of past diets, the Lux team has identified three must-haves for personal nutrition offerings to be of lasting commercial success:

Science – The approach must work on a biochemical level. For weight loss, this is very simple: The calories we burn must be greater than those we consume. For outcomes like wellness, the science is more complicated, but the premise remains the same. There must be results for an offering to be a successful and sustainable solution.

Value alignment – Consumers’ relationship with food goes beyond the need for nutrients. Key factors include the cost and taste of food, convenience of the product or process (what’s involved, does it require trying new things, does it impact eating with friends and family), and, finally, the safety of the food.

Consumer guidance – The way people interact with and make decisions about food is a multistep process that occurs multiple times a day. A successful diet solution must take consumers by the hand and guide them through each stage of the journey – from inspiration and research about what foods to eat, to obtaining, storing, and prepping that food, to finally closing the loop with feedback on the outcome of eating the food and how it affects the next interaction cycle.

Taking these requirements even further, Lux spells out the two key variables for delivering truly personalized nutrition solutions: 1) frequency of recommendations and 2) level of personalization specificity. These variables are the basis for a framework that maps the viability of the host startups and new offerings that have attracted more than $150 million in investments into personalized nutrition.

The long-term potential for this market, however, is tied to its ability to shift thinking about the broader health and wellness value (and thus cost burden) for such solutions. The final component of this analysis looks at how the right, truly personalized approaches can blend with new pricing models to have a sustainable impact on disease management and prevention.

For more details, download the Lux Research Personalized Nutrition analysis presentation.