Breaking Barriers: Making Personalized Nutrition Accessible to All. Nlumn Nsights 2024 Vol 2. Issue 3.

Thought Leadership


Team Nlumn


For personalized nutrition to be successful, it must be accessible. Every individual should be able to make better choices and live a healthier life. Cost is the primary barrier preventing people from participating in personalized nutrition programs. We also must recognize that access to nutritious food is a challenge for many.  

When building a personalized nutrition business, managing costs and increasing access are critical to the health of consumers and your business. What steps can you take to democratize personalized nutrition and expand opportunities for your business?


Nearly 40% of those interested in personalized nutrition reported making less than $50,000. The price of personalized programs prevents many consumers from participating. Often, companies start with expensive test kits. These can add complexity and cost. Instead, build programs using available data. Consumers are already collecting data that is important to them and retailers and manufacturers have a wealth of shopper insights. Combining these data can create more cost-effective programs to bolster democratization of personalized nutrition, and focusing on consumer’s existing behaviors helps recommendations be more relevant and engaging.


Underrepresented minorities are often hit the hardest by chronic diseases of lifestyle. This group could benefit greatly from personalized products and services that provide learning resources and recommendations that support behavior change.  

Focus research efforts on developing more diversity in datasets to support consumer representation, engagement, and trust, as well as expand knowledge in the field. When investing in a trial or consumer research, reduce barriers for potential participants with strategies such as mobile recruitment, transportation provisions, a decentralized design, and appropriate compensation and incentives. Provide participants with topline trial results and how they contributed to the application and advancement of the field. Seek feedback on how the data will be utilized, communicated, and implemented to assure that messaging and products are representative, relevant, and impactful.


Even the best personalized nutrition recommendations are irrelevant if there is limited access to nutritious food. There are many ways that companies can serve their communities by improving food access and helping people make healthier choices.  

Companies can work with community resources to help increase access of their products locally and provide access to transportation.  Support services are also needed. We found that roughly 2/3 of consumers using personalized nutrition programs seek a high level of support, but most are not getting it. Invest in guidance and coaching through community-based programs at churches, schools, recreation centers, and shelters. Provide information on how your products can support healthy dietary patterns and sponsor food preparation and cooking skills education programs. These actions can drive positive behavior changes and long-term health.

While a lofty goal, achieving accessible, useable, sustainable, and affordable personalized nutrition that can prevent or reverse chronic lifestyle diseases would have significant implications for healthcare cost savings and lost productivity, and most importantly, save 100,000 lives each year.

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