Is There a "One-Size-Fits-All" Definition of Personalized Nutrition? Nlumn Nsights 2023 Vol 1. Issue 3.

Thought Leadership


Josh Anthony

One of the most common questions I get is, “How do you define personalized nutrition?” There is no consensus definition, so I often quote one of the definitions below referencing position papers that I have co-authored or that have been published by some of our colleagues

Though I feel a twinge of irony in a “one-size-fits-all” definition of “personalized” nutrition, consistent elements are  important to consider to advance science, set policy, and establish regulations.

While each of the definitions above is targeted to different audiences, they share some important commonalities: 

  • A call for evidence-based science
  • A need to understand user behaviors
  • Empowering behavior change that results in desired health or functional improvements 

Each of these elements are also important when thinking through your personalized nutrition and wellness offering. Below we explore these areas and share some key questions you should ask yourself when developing products or services.

It’s essential to land on a solid, motivating benefit area. Attempting to solve everyone’s problems may result in a generic offering. Our research of more than 3,000 consumers interested in personalized nutrition and wellness shows that mental and emotional wellness, quality sleep, and stress management are among the leading unmet needs.

This is where measurement comes in to establish a baseline and show progress. Start with understanding what reliable information your consumers are already collecting that is important and motivating to them. Only ask for data or incorporate additional (scientifically validated) testing that returns value and supports their goals. This will also help manage the complexity and costs of your offering.

During more than two decades of working in the food and nutrition industry, I learned that consumers seek immediate benefits. We found that the personalized nutrition consumer shares this interest. However, they are also thinking about future benefits, with nearly half saying optimizing long-term health is extremely important. Why? Because they want to be there for their family and friends. Therefore, it is critical to communicate how products and services can provide better choices today and support long-term outcomes.

Personalized nutrition programs provide different components, but we see some common offerings. About one-quarter of programs offer recipes, food or ingredients to avoid, calorie targets, and physical activity goals. Unfortunately, few programs consider the important aspect that food plays socially. Sharing meals with family and friends is essential to our emotional well-being (a key need highlighted above). You can help people stick with their program (and increase customer lifetime value) by providing guidance on navigating these situations.

Talk to us

Ready to get started? Have questions? Contact us for a free consultation.

Contact Us

Latest News

Latest News