Personalised nutrition: Why it's popular...and why it's not

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

getty | metamorworks
getty | metamorworks

Related tags market trends personalised nutrition

The desire to maximise health and wellbeing means that consumers are constantly on the lookout for the next innovation but they are dubious about the accuracy and safety of genetic testing kits, market research indicates.

Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in the personalised nutrition innovations such as genetic testing kits which promise to help them achieve their health goals with optimum efficacy.

However, the industry needs to recognise that barriers exist when it comes to the ethics of the industry, according to market analysts at FMCG Gurus, with some consumers being unsure about the information they may receive, or how information is stored.

In Q2 2020, the UK-based market analysts surveyed more than 1,000 consumers across twenty-six countries on the topic of personalised nutrition.  

The data reveals that a sizeable 39% of global consumers say that they have heard of the concept of nutrition genetic testing yet only 11% say that they have conducted any form of research into their genetics from a health perspective.

When given a definition of nutrition genetic testing, and how such information is something that can reduce the risk of disease and illness, a total of 38% of global consumers say that they would be willing to use such technology.

The main reason for wanting to do this would be to maintain a good quality of life as they get older (76%). FMCG analysts suggest this is something that will be especially important to consumers in a pandemic environment as they question their vulnerability to disease and illness.

However, whilst such technology is appealing to consumers and is seen as an effective way of addressing lifestyle-related health issues, there are some reservations around the ethics of the industry.

For instance, of those consumers who said they would be unwilling to use nutrition genetic testing, 54% said they would be worried that it might reveal a health problem that cannot be prevented. Meanwhile, a total of 51% also said that they would not be trusting of such information and 49% do not even believe health issues can be predicted before they occur.

There is also the concern around data privacy. From a usage perspective, 64% admit that they would be conscious about third parties holding sensitive information regarding their genetics.

When FMCG analysts breaks down this data to show just the European market, it can be seen that European consumer are very much in line with the rest of the global market when it comes to perceptions of digital health services, with percentages noted in this article varying by only up to 4% for the Europe specific market.

Will Cowling, marketing manager at FMCG Gurus, says interest in personalised nutrition and digital health innovations is bound to continue in an upward trajectory.

"The fact that lifestyle-related health problems continue to rise despite the best intentions of consumers to reverse these trends, shows that current methods to addressing health are ultimately unsuccessful.

"This means that consumers will continue to look out for the next innovation to help address wellbeing, especially as many feel that COVID-19 will continue to influence lives for many years to come.

"However, when it comes to innovations such as nutrition genetic testing, it is important to recognise that whilst it is appealing, it is something that consumers will also be mindful of from an ethics perspective. Moreover, offering consumers reassurance when it comes to the safe storage of information will also be crucial."

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