Campbell’s Soup Co. is arguably one of the most forward-thinking food giants in the industry today, at least when it comes to food tech investment. Earlier this year, Campbell’s announced the creation of Acre Venture Partners, the VC arm it plans to use to “aggressively participate in the disruption in food trends.” The fund includes $125 million to invest in startups that are looking at new approaches to food growth and development and using technology and innovation to change the food industry.
This week, Campbell’s announced its investment in Silicon Valley-based tech startup Habit. Habit is a newly launched company that will deliver a “complete personalized nutrition solution” based on factors like someone’s biological makeup and metabolism. The CEO of Habit, Neil Grimmer, is also the founder of Plum Organics, a company that he sold to Campbell’s back in 2013. Despite having the VC fund, Campbell’s invested directly in Habit and is the startup’s sole funder, according to a Habit spokesperson.
The company will deliver a testing kit to users and together with the app, users are instructed to gather DNA samples to ship to their certified testing lab. The data collected is combined with the user’s reported lifestyle and personal goals and thrown into their priority algorithm known as the Nutrition Intelligence Engine. The algorithm spits out recommendations for what to eat from registered dieticians and a wellness guide along with fitness goals.
But the company doesn’t just stop at recommendations – they’ll also ship you a Habit meal kit, based on your personal nutrition blueprint and give you access to certified wellness coaches to help you meet your goals.
“The entire food industry is being transformed by the fusion of food, well-being and technology,” said Denise Morrison, Campbell’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Habit is well positioned in this wired for well-being space and poised to lead the personalized nutrition category.”
Meal delivery is a crowded space within food tech, but the areas of food data, transparency and nutrition are growing, and the combination of the two is a unique model. There are a lot of questions about how Habit – and perhaps Campbell’s, as its major investor – might use that data and how willing consumers are going to be to give it up so freely. But having deep, biological insight into what types of foods your body needs to be healthy is a pretty compelling message. Habit is currently collecting interest via a waiting list, and promises to start shipping in beta in January 2017.
Read more about Habit and Campbell’s investment.