Personalized nutrition: DSM optimizes “painter’s palette” of nutritionals


07 Mar 2018 --- Customized innovation and personalized nutrition are DSM’s two key competencies to address tomorrow’s nutrition trends for healthier lifestyles. A diverse range of personalized nutrition concepts will be presented at Vitafoods Europe 2018 in Geneva in May, together with the latest major consumer study into attitudes towards this space. DSM remains a strong investor in R&D, both within its nutrition and materials business. Total R&D expenditure in 2017 was €444 million, accounting for 5.1 percent of net sales in 2017. Nutrition R&D expenditure in 2017 accounted for almost half of R&D expenditure: €219 million.

DSM appointed Frédéric Boned as EMEA Vice President (VP) of its Human Nutrition & Health business as of January 1, 2018. A Swiss and French national, he first joined DSM in 2012, holding a variety of senior roles in DSM Personal Care & Aroma Ingredients business, including Director of Personal Care EMEA, Senior Director of Global Marketing & Innovation and VP Global Sales Personal Care. Prior to DSM, Boned worked in the flavor & fragrance industries, holding several sales and marketing positions for over ten years at Givaudan.

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Frédéric Boned, DSM EMEA Vice President Human Nutrition & Health

For Boned, customer centricity goes beyond ingredients alone. It is about applications, insights, formulation, forward thinking solutions and business models. His ambition in his new role is to implement customer centricity into everything DSM does. 

“I started my career in the flavor & fragrance market where customer centricity is extremely high on the agenda. What I want to do is leverage the science, consumer insights and technical expertise to further support our customers in bringing healthier and more successful products into the marketplace for all consumers across the EMEA region, with a deeper customer understanding. So that will be very important moving forward,” he explains.

Boned is hopeful for the potential of personalized nutrition at a time when consumers are becoming increasingly expert on the solutions available, despite limited market success for cosmeceuticals thus far, for example. 

“I don’t think the one-size-fits-all approach will be the way forward in this area. It has to be a personalized solution that answers very specific consumer needs. That is how I see the future and also how I see it for brands that have experimented in that area and still want to grow in that space and want to go that way,” he says. 

Boned points to a new service from UK health retailer Holland & Barrett, which has launched a health box that provides customers with a monthly supply of supplements based on a health survey that they are invited to complete. To further understand consumer concerns, DSM is currently conducting a consumer survey in various European countries to find out what the term “personalized nutrition” actually means to them and how customers can harness these opportunities in the field. That’s the foundation for DSM’s focus at Vitafoods Europe 2018 in Geneva, where key insights from the survey will be revealed.

Personalized solutions
At Vitafoods, DSM will present a set of examples within the personalized nutrition space. 

“We are putting a lot of innovation effort into that topic in terms of leveraging digital technologies, the platform for devices that are on the market to come up with radical and disruptive innovation. We as a company really see that there is a major change in the market and we are trying to be an early adopter and trendsetter there, in order to have the solution ready for our customers,” he explains. 

The company’s full portfolio can play a role from this regard, some of which are produced and others of which are sourced. “It is all about playing with a palette, just as a painter plays with colors,” he says. 
“We have an amazing portfolio of ingredients and it is about combining them in order to develop something that can work as a customized solution,” he says. 

“Our vitamins play a key role and will continue to do so. As will minerals, and our nutraceuticals like our FruitFlow product [for cardiovascular health] and Tolerase G which addresses residual gluten for those following gluten-free diets. All of those will continue to play a key role, as will omega 3,” he explains. 

As opportunities to address ever distinct demographic groups and personalized demands, customized solutions on both a B2B and B2C level will hold strong potential to address tomorrow’s nutrition market.

This article is based on an interview with Frédéric Boned to appear in the March 2018 issue of The World of Food Ingredients

by Robin Wyers 

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