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Launched in Japan in May 2018, the Nestlé Wellness Ambassador is a platform that provides customers with personalized nutritional advice based on their dietary habits, DNA, and blood test results. Users send pictures of the food they eat to the service via the Line messaging app. Meanwhile DNA and blood tests assess their vulnerability to common diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Nestlé then provides personalized dietary advice, as well as specially formulated vitamin supplements that cost around USD 600 a year.

Nestlé sold its US confectionary business earlier this year. Now comes another sign that the world’s largest food company is pivoting away from sugary snacks – and towards personalized nutrition. The mega-brand no doubt hope this trial in Japan will feed them the data they need to crack some fundamental relationships between DNA, health, and diet, allowing them to offer personalized nutrition solutions to billions of health-conscious consumers.

But there are lessons any brand can apply here. Three points to take back to your team:

- We’ve all been talking about data-fueled personalization forever. The next step in the personalization story? New kinds of data that allow new and deeper forms of personalization. DNA will be a huge part of that, as we’ve seen recently via innovations from Genomind, SpareRoom and others. What new forms of data – DNA, facial recognition, emotion recognition, others – are set to transform customer expectations in your industry?

- Nestlé are pivoting around the epic megatrend in the food and beverage industry towards wellbeing. Two questions. First, what is the massive, decade-on-decade shift reshaping your industry right now? Second, what new service could you trial that helps you gather the new capabilities, knowledge and data you need to ride that shift?

- This innovation is a great example of a powerful emerging trend called LAB RATS, which will see consumers in 2019 adopt an experimental, test and fix mindset to their own wellbeing. That trend will feature in our upcoming Trend Report 2019. Stay tuned...