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At May’s Vitafoods Europe trade show Subscription Summit in Geneva, Switzerland, representatives from personalized-vitamin brand Vitamin Packs spoke about how companies can leverage growing consumer interest in customized nutrition solutions to form a profitable business model.
Over the past couple of years, personalized nutrition has become a major driver in the nutraceuticals industry, says Tamara Bernadot, chief nutrition officer of personalized-vitamin brand Vitamin Packs (Snoqualmie, WA). At May’s Vitafoods Europe trade show Subscription Summit in Geneva, Switzerland, Bernadot spoke on a panel about how companies can leverage growing consumer interest in customized nutrition solutions to create a profitable business model.
First, however, Bernadot explains to Nutritional Outlook that one reason personalized nutrition is now catching on with consumers is that consumers are increasingly interested in the personalization of just about everything these days. “So, it makes sense that your vitamin supplements can be personalized as well,” Bernadot says. For example, she says, “We can personalize our running shoes, but prior to the arrival of personalized nutrition, we were still consuming ‘cookie cutter’ dietary supplements that were found on store shelves.”
Millennials are especially keen on customized nutrition solutions, due in part to rising healthcare costs. “People are starting to take more responsibility for what they put into their bodies every day,” in order to help avoid those staggering costs associated with healthcare events. Thus, she says, the market is primed for personalized nutrition.
The larger movement around personalized and customized nutrition can be an exciting opportunity for companies in the dietary supplement and natural products industries for a few reasons. First, the technology has helped pave the way for it, says Bernadot. “With the popularity of various testing techniques, from DNA to gut biome, I think there is an opportunity to understand nutrition on a whole new level and for people to really drill down to the specifics of what makes their body be its best.”
But as dietary supplement marketers navigate the relatively uncharted personalized nutrition space, Bernadot says there are a few key points companies should keep in mind in order to build a successful business. At the Vitafoods session, “How to make money on personalized nutrition? Examining business and value creation models and debating the need for business ecosystem innovation,” Bernadot offered a few strategies for companies hoping to get in on the personalized nutrition trend now.
First, Bernadot says, consumer education should be a key part of the strategy to strengthen consumer retention, noting that companies should keep in mind that consumer retention is key to seeing success with a customized-nutrition model. Consumers who understand exactly what makes personalized nutrition important are, of course, more likely to embrace the trend.
Secondly, personalized nutrition testing and real-time reporting on a person’s diet, exercise, nutrition goals, and prescription medication use collected in one place will help bring personalized nutrition from trend to mainstay, says Bernadot. Getting the message to consumers that nutrition is about more than what dietary supplements to take, but also encompasses factors like daily stressors, sleep patterns, and how medications interact, will be integral to growing the category. Personalized nutrition, she says, is all about how these factors come together to impact a person’s overall wellness. “Combining it all into a program that includes personalized supplements will keep customers engaged longer and with better results.”
For its part, Vitamin Packs offers personalized vitamin packs delivered in daily packages. Consumers receive these personalized packs based on the information they share about their health and wellness habits via the company’s nutrition assessment program. According to Bernadot, more than 220,000 people have completed the company’s nutrition assessment. She says that the company “identified an opportunity to develop a science-backed and comprehensive nutritional assessment that includes understanding more about medication use prior to curating a custom vitamin pack.” Vitamin Packs also offers one-to-one consultations with nutritionists and registered dieticians.
According to the company, Vitamin Packs is “the only subscription box that cross-references 650 prescription medications before curating a unique combination of nutritional supplements for its subscribers.” The company says that this personalized approach can help consumers avoid risky drug-nutrient interactions.