Brian Balmer, industry principal chemicals and materials, Frost & Sullivan, told FoodProductionDaily.com food companies may consider packaging nutrients alongside meals to meet individual needs.
“Over the next 10 years, nutrition will become much more personalised,” he said. “We as consumers will rely less on mass-produced food, and more on tailored products that we will be able to access thanks to more universal monitoring of traits like blood glucose, hydration and vitamin and mineral levels.
“The way food is packaged will need to react to this trend.”
Balmer adds consumers will have the chance to adjust the nutritional content to their own needs. He compares this ‘mass customisation’ to the automotive industry, where a mass produced car might be customised to an individual buyer.
“Products might still be mass-produced, but they still have the capability to be will be tailored to the individual,” he said.
“Maybe it will be as simple as having a series of nutrients in separate packaging alongside meals, or perhaps having drinks bottles that can add slow-release nutrients into a base drink,” he added.
“The best example of how [personalised nutrition] is done today is in the world of professional sports - a lot of nutritional packages are tailored to the individual, whether it is Tour de France cyclists, marathon runners or Andy Murray.
“In this way, nutrition could follow the same path as many other professional sports technologies that have gradually made their way into the mainstream.”
Balmer envisions people will monitor their own levels of blood glucose and nutrients, and in the long term may turn to intelligent computer ‘assistants.’
“This would be a real game-changer because, in reality, not many people have enough time or technical knowledge to do this for themselves,” he added.