DnaNudge pop-up launch looks to personalise nutrition choices via genetic-based insights

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

DnaNudge's genetic testing services are located at retailers Waitrose & Partners, in Canary Wharf and John Lewis & Partners located at White City in London. ©Waitrose & Partners/John Lewis & Partners
DnaNudge's genetic testing services are located at retailers Waitrose & Partners, in Canary Wharf and John Lewis & Partners located at White City in London. ©Waitrose & Partners/John Lewis & Partners

Related tags Waitrose John lewis partnership DnaNudge Snack functional beverage beverage

The world's first in-store genetic test that directs the consumer to make healthier personalised choices, based on their DNA profile is now open in London as a pop-up service.

UK-based personalised nutrition firm DnaNudge, makes available its genetic testing services to shoppers at retailers Waitrose & Partners, located in Canary Wharf, and John Lewis & Partners located at White City in London.

The service uses technology that takes genetic data taken from a cheek swab which is then tested in the brand's patented NudgeBox, the firm’s innovation that extracts DNA from the sample.

NudgeBox will also identify specific SNP's (a 'snip' is a single 'letter' out of the 3 billion in the human DNA code), relating to nutrition-related health conditions are analysed.

From the data gathered, DnaNudge are able to generate a personalised DNA report for the user based on key nutrition-related health traits.  

“We're excited to be working in partnership with Waitrose and John Lewis to deliver our world-first DnaNudge service to customers in these iconic stores,”​ says professor Chris Toumazou, regius professor of engineering at Imperial College London and CEO and co-founder of DnaNudge.

These new pop-ups bring our “Shop with your DNA” technology and “Eat right, move more” message for healthier food choices, direct to Waitrose and John Lewis shoppers.

“We're all incredibly excited about the future opportunities for customers as we extend our DNA-personalised services into other areas over the coming months.”

Green light for DnaBand

The report allows consumers to log onto the DnaNudge smartphone App or wrist-worn DnaBand that scans over 500,000 product barcodes assessing its suitability based on their personal genetic profile.

The DnaBand will flash green if it is a good match for their DNA and red if it isn’t. The App will also recommend other green product swaps that it considers healthier based on the user’s DNA profile.

DnaNudge's wrist-worn DnaBand that scans product barcodes assessing its suitability based on the user's personal genetic profile. ©Waitrose & Partners/John Lewis & Partners

The technology is based around the idea that regular gentle “nudges” in the right direction, based on personalised DNA and lifestyle, can lead to healthier, positive changes over time.

Last year, Waitrose & Partners provided its support of a clinical trial that saw DnaNudge and Imperial College London explore – for the first time – the effects of DNA-personalised food choices on health outcomes for pre-diabetic individuals.

The clinical trial assesses the potential of DnaNudge’s technology for improving glucose regulation and preventing the development of Type 2 diabetes in prone individuals.

Waitrose & Partners are providing support to the recruitment to the 12-month clinical trial by contacting customers in the North London area providing with information to interested parties.

The pop-ups will be in the London stores for three months initially, with experts from DnaNudge on hand to help shoppers with the technology and answer any questions they may have.

The complete 'Nutrition Package' – comprising DNA test, DnaBand with charger and lifetime subscription to the DnaNudge App is €140 (£120). 

Personalising shopping experience

“Retailers have an important role to play in helping shoppers who want to be healthier,” ​adds Moira Howie, nutrition and health manager at Waitrose & Partners.

“So we are pleased to be teaming up with DnaNudge to offer this new technology which enables customers to make more informed choices based on the dietary aspect of their DNA.” 

Peter Cross, customer experience director at John Lewis & Partners says, “We’re always looking for ways to make our customers’ shopping experience more personalised and relevant to them which is why we’re pleased to give them an opportunity to make more informed purchasing decisions based on their own DNA.

“This technology currently helps our customers make healthier decisions about the food they purchase but it could also have the potential to broaden out into categories such as skincare in the future.”

As a retail group, Waitrose & Partners are making significant strides in bridging the gap between retail, personalised nutrition and medicine.

The supermarket announced in June 2018 that it formed a new partnership with private health care company Bupa, with plans to launch health checks in stores across its estate.

Its retail innovation lab featured UK personalised nutrition firms Kafoodle, OME Health and Best in Bag as shortlisted finalists, which in 2018 followed a health and wellbeing theme​.

The incubator programme—JLab—now in its sixth year, asked start-ups and established businesses to submit innovative concepts that make it easier for consumers to lead healthy lifestyles and eat more healthily.

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