DSM bridging personalized nutrition gaps with acquisition of digital platform

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images
Getty Images

Related tags personalized nutrition Nutrition wellness nutrition coaching

Dutch ingredients giant Royal DSM has acquired AVA, a Boston-based company that offers a digital personalized nutrition platform.

The deal, the details of which were not disclosed, strengthens DSM’s hand in the personalized nutrition sphere, which has been a key pillar in its nutrition strategy in recent years.  DSM already has a large stable of ingredients and delivery technologies in place.  It is now building up a presence in the testing, diagnostics, information delivery and support end of the sphere.

Building up a testing, coaching presence

Last fall, DSM announced a research partnership with Wellmetrix​, a company that has developed an at home test to measure eight biomarkers in urine. The test is paired with a smart phone app to give users results in minutes.

The AVA acquisition builds on that with its reportedly state-of-the-art digital health platform that leverages artificial intelligence to analyze behavior, wellness and consumption patterns and provide end users with adaptive nutrition recommendations and live coaching. The platform is currently available in the US and Europe and can be fully customized to a wide variety of use cases. 

“We are delighted to welcome AVA into our family to build the end-to-end capabilities in our Personalized Nutrition offering. AVA’s advanced technology provides sophisticated data analysis, recommendations and coaching for a broad range of target audiences. Combining this with DSM’s world-class nutrition science, products and solutions, we aim to be the partner of choice for dietary supplement as well as food and beverage brand owners that wish to offer personalized and healthy nutrition and gain unique consumer insights,”​ said James Bauly, head of personalized nutrition at DSM Nutritional Products.

Solving the pervasive problems

In May of last year, DSM nutritional Products CEO Chris Goppelsroeder spoke with NutraIngredients-USA’s sister site NutraIngredients-Asia​ to reaffirm the company’s commitment to the personalized nutrition category. 

“If you want to do personalized nutrition properly, you have to do it for the whole value chain. Not only do you have to create the right products, but you also need the right measurements and an incentive for consumers to do the right thing,”​ Goppelsroeder told NIU-Asia editor Gary Scattergood.

Goppelsroeder identified some gaps that have prevented companies from fully delivering on the personalized nutrition promise.  One was that the tests are too invasive, with many relying on blood draws or fecal sample collection. Another was that the test results were often too complex and detailed to be of use to the average consumer, and it takes too long to receive the results.

With the AVA acquisition combined with the Wellmetrix partnership, DSM appears to have revealed its strategy for solving those issues.

Personalized Nutrition webinar

NutraIngredients-USA recently hosted a webinar looking into issues in the personalized nutrition space. The webinar features experts from personalized nutrition companies Care/of and InsideTracker as well as a leading researcher from the Institute for Systems Biology. To hear the webinar on demand, go here to register​.

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