According to research and consumer preferences it won’t be long before personalized nutritional will become standard for patients…
If there is one truism for American consumers, it is that they want to see themselves as individuals, and companies wanting their business should cater to their unique needs – and it’s no different for their personalized nutrition.
The classic Burger King “Have It Your Way” commercial campaign is a perfect example of this concept. Each customer at Burger King was encouraged to customize their order, based on their personal preference, a unique concept in the 1970s. This ad campaign was so successful that it ran for 40 years, from 1974-2014.
While it is true that you aren’t selling burgers or fries to your patients, there is an important lesson to learn from Burger King’s ad campaign – personalizing your services or products can pay off. In fact, personalized nutritional guidance is looking to be one of the hottest new trends this year.
The current market for personalized nutritional
The American Nutrition Association defines personalized nutrition as “a field that leverages human individuality to drive nutrition strategies that prevent, manage, and treat disease and optimize health.”1 Nowadays, that definition also means big money.
According to Nutrition Business Journal, the personalized supplement market grew 35% in 2020 to reach a total of $375 million.2 Another analysis estimated that the global, personalized nutrition market could reach as much as $64 billion by 2040.3 But the market is more than just supplements.
Nutrition Business Journal states in its report that this personalization can include health and lifestyle surveys, as well as genetic, microbiome, and DNA testing.2 Consumers are clearly on board with this trend, as a global survey put out by the market research firm Euromonitor International showed that more than 46% would be either “extremely comfortable” (19.5%) or “very comfortable” (26.8%) using online and app-based personalized nutritional services.4
Many wellness chiropractors who work with their patients on nutrition are already taking advantage of microbiome testing to pinpoint nutritional and wellness and supplemental needs for their patients.
What does the research say?
An article from last year in Nature Medicine published the results from an ongoing study of metabolic responses, following eating identical meals, among a group of more than 1,002 subjects.5 Researchers found that differences between blood triglyceride, glucose, and insulin could vary by as much as 10-fold between individuals, leading them to hypothesize that individual gut biome may play a larger role in this variance than originally thought. They suggested that personalized nutritional plans may help patients gain better control over their metabolic conditions.
A 2017 article in the International Journal of Epidemiology examined the effect of personalized nutritional guidance on changes in dietary behavior.6 A group of subjects received nutritional guidance via the internet and were randomized to either conventional dietary guidance or personalized nutritional guidance. At the end of six months, participants receiving personalized nutritional guidance consumed less red meat, salt, and saturated fats than those receiving standard nutritional guidance. They also consumed more folate and had higher Healthy Eating Index scores. These results appear to indicate that personalized nutritional guidance leads to larger and more appropriate changes in dietary behavior.6
Although these studies are still focusing on treating existing medical conditions, it won’t be long before personalized nutritional guidance will become standard for regular consumers interested in optimizing their health by following a plan customized for their individual needs. In short, just like that old Burger King jingle, your patients could soon be able to “have it their way” when it comes to wellness.
- Bush CL, Blumberg JB, El-Sohemy A, et al. Toward the definition of personalized nutrition: A proposal by the American Nutrition Association. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2020 Jan;39(1):5-15.
- Nutrition Business Journal. Personalized Nutrition Special Report 2021.
- Fitzgerald M. Personalized nutrition could be the next plant-based meat, worth $64 billion by 2040, says UBS. CNBC. 19, 2020.
- Euromonitor International Health and Nutrition Survey 2020.
- Berry SE, Valdes AM, Drew DA, et al. Human postprandial responses to food and potential for precision nutrition [published correction appears in Nature Medicine. 2020 Nov;26(11):1802]. Nature Medicine. 2020;26(6):964-973.
- Celis-Morales C, Livingstone KM, Marsaux CF, et al. Effect of personalized nutrition on health-related behaviour change: Evidence from the Food4Me European randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Epidemiology. 2017;46(2):578-588.