To even out the odds in the precious restaurant business, one London eatery is capitalizing on the technology of personalization to claim the mantra. “You are what you eat.”

Vita Mojo, with two locations in London, allows customers to match their dietary needs by allowing diners to tweak the menu based on health concerns or specific goals, such as lowering sedum intake. Upon entering Vita Mojo, there are two lines—one for those who have used the restaurant’s website to place their order, and the other for those new to the process. Newcomers can use a bank of iPads to choose from the day’s offerings and make the dishes theirs using a series of sliders that control such things as ingredient quantities and eliminate allergens, such as egg and soy.

But wait, there’s more.

In partnership with DNAFit, a genetic testing company, Vita Mojo is offering a special on a complete DNA profile with DNAFit’s standard fitness and nutrition markers which provides a template for customizes exercise and diet genetics. That information is added to a customer’s profile which allows him or her to get granular in their Vita Mojo food order. For this special offer, where an individual profile is created from a customer’s saliva sample, the standard price of 249 GBP ($325.33) is reduced to 186.75 GBP($244).

Vita Mojo founder Nick Popovici told the Daily Mail, ‘Your DNA influences the macronutrient components of your diet.  Whether you should be eating a high or low-fat diet is all dependent on your genes – as well as what ingredients you should be eating more of less of.  Vita Mojo’s partnership with DNAFit is a global first – we want all our customers to have as much information as possible, so they can eat to achieve their fitness goals or just to live a healthier, happier life.”

Restaurants, along with any company focused on health and wellness, is trying to ride the wave of DNA-based personalization. The reason—big money. A research report from Boston Consulting Group claims that over the next five years, personalization will shift $800 million of revenue to the 15% of companies that get it right.

What makes the Vita Mojo/DNAFit deal so interesting is how the results from the DNA test can be easily added to your dietary profile for the British restaurant. Consumer-oriented DNA tests such as 23andme provide general recommendations, such as whether your genes suggest you avoid red meat or avoid fast food. Actions that need to be taken based on those findings need to be actively pursued by the individual which is far less effective than the Vita Mojo model.

In a recent story in The Spoon, we noted that scientists are working on diets that not only are based on DNA, but how the right food intake can repair damage done to DNA over the course of a lifetime. Part of the process is linked to the use of 3D food printing “to precisely detect what an individual’s body needs and instant ways to fabricate customized food to meet those needs”

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Allen Weiner is an Austin-based freelance writer focusing on applications of new technology in the areas of food, media and education. In his 17-year career as a vice president and analyst with Gartner, Inc., the world’s largest IT research and advisory firm, Allen was a frequent speaker at company and industry events as well as one of the most-quoted analysts in the area of new media. With an extensive background in publishing and publishing technology, Allen is noted as the founder of The Gate (, the nation’s first daily newspaper on the web. Born in Philadelphia, Allen is a graduate of Muhlenberg College and Temple University.

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