Strategic advice for the food and beverage industry

Personalisation fast becoming the “new normal”

personalisation-consumer-2When a giant food company invests $32 million in a startup focusing on personalized nutrition (NNB Key Trend 4), then you know that “personalization” has reached its tipping point.

The giant is Campbell, and the startup is Habit, launched by Neil Grimmer, the founder of Plum Organics, a baby food company which went from disruptive start-up to market leader.

Grimmer got his genome sequenced, his blood tested and, with the help of doctors, embarked on a customized nutrition programme. Six months later he “felt amazing,
had lost 11kg and had more energy”. Grimmer told NNB that “the genesis
for Habit was the idea of taking a very complicated system – the process I went through – and making it available to millions of Americans at a price point that will be accessible for all”.

Personalization is already a powerful and well-established trend and entrepreneurs like Grimmer are taking it to a whole new level.

Personalisation is about consumers “taking back control”. They want to feel more empowered and confident to create their own healthy eating patterns. It goes hand-in-hand with growing awareness that diet is a personal matter – and it’s another stage in the long slow death of “one size fits all” dietary recommendations.

Fragmentation (Key Trend 10) is in a cast-iron feedback loop with personalization, each feeding the other and reinforcing the trend. And both trends lead, very firmly, to premiumisation.

The key point for all companies is this: it is becoming increasingly difficult to create mass brands in the way we understood them in the past. If your company’s strategy is based on building high-volume business at mass- market prices, then you might have the wrong strategy. The future is a series of premium-priced niches.

The emergence of these trends has been clear for a long time, as we said back in 2003:

“What few would have suspected five years ago is that consumers’ lifestyle needs increasingly connect to the idea of products for individual consumption.

“This conjoins with the increasing fragmentation of consumers’ perceptions of what is healthy.

“Personalisation will be a science-based extension of the current trend, which is based on consumer experimentation and media information. What does this mean for brands? Such personalisation could simply reinforce the trend towards a market made up of a proliferation of niche health-enhancing products.”


Posted in Editorial, Mainsite

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