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A new business potential for the future?



shiftN, Naamsesteenweg 255, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium


Personalised nutrition is rapidly emerging as a new approach to help an individual making appropriate dietary choices with the aim to improve health. The concept is now understood to consist of two important pillars: analytical/scientific/technological means which assure the appropriateness of the nutritional advice and an equally important behavioural aspect assuring that advice is presented in a way that it is actionable and effective. While the business opportunity appears to be supported by strong societal trends, the complexity of organising a personalised nutrition service probably requires new approaches that are unlikely to come from existing nutrition and health players. Most likely a novel community of networked businesses will emerge to occupy this exciting new territory, similarly to what happened in the telecom and IT world. By affecting the way people will make food choices, personalised nutrition will have a significant impact on the food supply chain and the flow of product and ingredient information.


Today personalised nutrition (PN) is a concept that still means very different things to different people in the health and nutrition area. In order to fully understand its business potential, we will reflect upon the essence of the concept, what makes it really useful and how it can be practically organised. It is equally important to reflect also upon the environment in which it is emerging. Today’s health care issues are triggering a gradual change in the concept of health in modern society. Personalised nutrition and personalised medicine are new approaches that are influenced by this thinking but at the same time they are also helping to shape these developments.



Personalised nutrition emerged as a concept in the wake of the human genome project. The anticipation to fully understand the genetic make-up of an individual created an expectation that health issues could be more specifically addressed by tailoring advice to a specific individual condition, be it through a medical or a nutritional advice. Nutrigenomics emerged as a new science to explore the interactions between genes, nutrients, ...

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