The startup is one of those spin-offs that has the wind in its sails and seeks to improve, in concrete terms, our daily lives and have a positive impact on it. Moving from its research phase to a concrete application for the general public is always a high point in the life of a startup and this is what Nium is now experiencing with the launch of its Nutrida application. Its founder, Alberto Noronha, tells us more in this interview.
by: Charles-Louis Machuron
photo: Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Tell us about Nium.
Nium, is a spin-off of the University of Luxembourg specialized in personalized nutrition. Our mission is to help people eat healthy according to their own preferences, culture and metabolism (see our article “Nium, the personalized dietary recommendations platform“).
What is your innovation about?
Nium wants to find how each person reacts to the food they eat to provide truly tailored recommendations. That is what we call personalized nutrition.
With a strong research background in the areas of computer science, bioinformatics, nutrition, and metabolism, Nium’s team is well equipped to develop innovative approaches to the way people manage their diets including the integration of gut-microbiome and other metabolic markers analysis.
Nium’s expertise has been awarded a Proof of Concept grant by the Luxembourg National Research Fund. It has also participated in the HealthTech track of the Fit4Start Acceleration Program in 2019.
“Nutrida generates personalized meal plans composed of easy to cook, healthy, and tasty recipes. The necessary ingredients for cooking are mapped to our retail partners inventory and integrated with e-commerce for delivery/pickup.”
You’re launching Nutrida. Can you tell us more about it?
Nium advocates for healthy and personalized nutrition for everyone. Nutrida is a digital platform that will make it simple for everyone to “Shop smarter, Eat better, Get Healthier”.
The app will take into account data such as age, height, and weight, but also food preferences, restrictions and allergies. Nutrida then generates personalized meal plans composed of easy to cook, healthy, and tasty recipes. The necessary ingredients for cooking are mapped to our retail partners inventory and integrated with e-commerce for delivery/pickup.
The second step will be to integrate metabolic and gut-microbiome tests for a full personalization of the recommendations. This will be possible by scheduling the tests via Nutrida with our partner medical laboratories.
In short, with Nutrida, personalized nutritional recommendations, meal plans, and grocery shopping are 1-click away.
Who are your clients?
With Nutrida we are targeting online grocery shoppers who want or need personalized, healthy, tasty and easy to follow nutritional advice.
Our market research shows that 1 out of 3 Luxembourg residents have ordered food online at least once in the last twelve months and that the Covid-19 crisis has doubled the average cart value to 100 EUR.
The increase of online grocery shopping is expected to last beyond the current crisis and we see many international retailers moving in that direction. In addition, we are seeing an increase in health and nutrition leaving it the ideal setting for a product like Nutrida.
We’re working hard on NUTRIDA – our answer to bring healthy nutrition to every table and help fight COVID19.
— Nium (@niumhealth) May 5, 2020
How has this health crisis come up with new momentum in terms of nutrition?
There are 3 main trends arising from the Covid-19 health crisis:
First, the urge for the digitalisation of the grocery B2C purchasing process. In Luxembourg only a very limited number of retailers offer this option. Second, the need for logistics which allow quick, efficient and safe pick up or delivery of purchased groceries – we saw many services failing to keep up with demand. And last but not the least, the need for personalised practical nutritional advice in the form of meal plans, especially for people considered vulnerable.
Covid-19’s first epidemiologic results and recommendations from health authorities show that certain categories of people are statistically inclined to suffer from severe forms of Covid-19. In the Luxembourgish population:
• 15% are 65+ years old
• 60% are overweight & obese
• 30% have pre-Diabetes or Diabetes conditions
• 85% have at least one cardiac risk factor
• 1,5% have cancer
Nutrida offers an integrated and streamlined digital solution to address these 3 trends.
What’s next for you?
Launching Nutrida before the end of the year! Right now, we are busy discussing with retailers, laboratories, dieticians and cooks who are eager to join the platform. We will also be searching for a panel of consumers to test Nutrida soon. Fundraising is naturally part of the current agenda and we are glad that we are getting noticed outside of Luxembourg even during the confinement period. In other words: busy and exciting times ahead!