Beverages have become a go-to category for consumers looking to supplement their diets with products, such as hybrid beverages containing nutrients missing from the typical diet and functional formulas offering enhanced performance benefits. As the possibilities of fortified benefits expand, a few beverage-makers are forecasting that the next wave of product innovations will go beyond general trends and into custom profiles.

In September, Nestlé announced the creation of Nestlé Health Science S.A. and the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences. The separate organizations are scheduled to open in 2011 and were created to develop personalized health science nutrition products that prevent and treat health conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease, Nestlé says.

“Personalized health science nutrition is about finding efficient and cost-effective ways to prevent and treat acute and chronic diseases in the 21st century,” said Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, in a statement.

Some companies see the trend appealing to consumers on a more personal level. In this month’s Beverage R&D article, Ram Chaudhari, senior executive vice president and chief scientific officer at Fortitech, Schenectady, N.Y., says the future of formulation is “nutrigenomics,” which is nutrition based on genetics. Nutrigenomics offers a custom mix of fortifications based on a person’s genomes that create the ideal formula for one’s genes and lifestyle, Chaudhari says.

Just as consumers reach for supplements and fortified beverages to off-set what their diets and lifestyles might lack, it is likely they will embrace the notion of “just for me” nutrition, especially as it applies to prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses.

Related links:
Beverage R&D: Fortifications for achy, breaky joints
Last Drop: Priority evolution
Last Drop: Acquired tastes