Ten years ago if you were driving somewhere you’d have to either memorize directions or print out a paper map. Cut to now, and it’s almost unheard of to drive anywhere new without a GPS guiding you, turn by turn.
That’s exactly what Victor Chapela, CEO of personalized nutrition company Suggestic, thinks will happen to our diets. He believes that in five years, AI-driven technology will “drive” our food decisions just like a GPS drives our directions now. The result? Very high personalization, and comprehensive food discoverability.
If you want to know more about how we actually get to this future, you’ll want to come see Chapela speak at Customize, our food personalization event, on February 27th in NYC. (Use code SPOON15 to snag 15% off your tickets!)
But first, check out this Q&A below to learn a bit more about Suggestic and why Chapela envisions a future where you can get personalized recommendations in your kitchen, grocery stores, and even on restaurants menus.
Tell us a little bit about Suggestic and how it capitalizes on personalization.
Suggestic is a personalized nutrition platform, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that uses advanced technology to create and deliver customized eating plans that are individually tailored to each person. Suggestic helps users plus healthcare professionals and businesses to not only select a dietary plan that is right for their health goals but it then proactively suggests what to eat, even at restaurants, through Suggestic’s patented Augmented Reality (AR) technology.
Suggestic’s programs make it easy for its users, clients, and members to stick to their tailored dietary program and see results. Suggestic’s science-based approach to nutrition is designed to help all users find success in their programs.
What are some of the biggest challenges in bringing personalized diets and nutrition to consumers?
The biggest challenge is that people have diverse body chemistries that react differently to foods so something that would usually be deemed as “healthy” may not always be from one person to the next. Also, people have trouble staying with an eating plan so we need to accurately determine how best to customize plans that consumers will follow. With AI, we can create personalized nutrition plans that best fit a person so that they can stick with their plan and ultimately be successful in their quest for a healthier and happier life. We have so much knowledge of food and we can take it to another level with the use of AI — it takes something very complex and makes it very simple and actionable.
We can work with each individual person to filter out foods specific to their diet, whether because of allergies, health concerns or personal preferences, so that people can easily see the options right for them. This type of tailored plan not only makes it easier for people to follow, but it also allows people to actually eat the foods they like as AI learns with a person, leading to greater success in sticking with a plan.
Why do you think that there has been a rise in interest around personalized nutrition over the past few years?
There is no one-size-fits-all diet that works equally well for everyone. Even though browsing social media you would think otherwise, based on all the “magic bullet” dieting programs now promoted. People are frustrated. They are only now discovering that they need to find out the nutrition needs of their unique biologies.
What do you think personalized food or drink will look like 5 years down the road?
Today we are seeing signs of several huge industries colliding. Technology is connecting the healthcare and wellness industries to food and nutrition options.
In the next five years, we will see an ecosystem emerge that will allow for two different things to happen simultaneously: very high personalization and comprehensive food discoverability.
First, we will be able to seamlessly stack all types of personalization, goals, preferences, and requirements. This will allow my food options to consider everything I care about and everything my body needs. It will connect all the information about myself, from my blood chemistry, genes and microbiome to my activity, sleep and food intake.
Second, we will be able to filter and sort out all the food options around us with this personalized profile. We will have all the restaurants, grocery products, recipes, and food delivery automatically being selected to match what we like best out of what is best for us.
In five years we will use technology to find food in the same way we use our GPS today to drive back home. It is not that we do not know the way home. It is that we will outsource the decision making process to an AI we trust and get step by step suggestions of which foods we can select. We will be living in a “one-click” send food world.