This past month, the patent application for our novel “feedback loop approach” to personalized micronutrient dosing was granted. Along with several other special announcements, the summer is shining bright for Baze. Below is an interview with Philipp Schulte, co-founder and CEO, on what this means for Baze customers, the company, and how he sees the personalized nutrition industry evolving.
Tell us more about the patent.
We applied for this patent four years ago as this is really about one of our core building blocks here at Baze: using an on-going stream of data—molecular, digital, and questionnaire-based—to provide our users with an increasing personalization of their micronutrient supply. The key aspect here is that repeated measurements of actual nutrient status allow us to understand individual micronutrient absorption, which varies widely from one person to another. This individual absorption factor is then factored into personalizing your next micronutrient supply, which on our platform is through tailored doses of supplements (vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids) as well as an increasing range of nutrient-dense meal and food options. This level of personalization is unique in the industry and with its ability to drive ongoing personalization for our users, it is really a core component of our offering.
What else are you working on to fuel personalized nutrition?
Let’s take a step back and first ask why we are doing all of this. There are two reasons. First, we are convinced of the tremendous health, fitness, and wellbeing impact personalized nutrition can bring to our users. We believe there are not many more powerful ways to take care of your mind and body than making sure that your nutrition status is optimal. Shifting the paradigm of the industry to knowing and optimizing nutritional status would be so important and impactful. As a good introduction to this topic, I highly recommend the work of Bruce Ames.
Secondly, the industry is evolving, growing, and entering its next phase. We expect that quality, which to us means creating true impact for our users, will be at the forefront here. This really is where we put our focus on at Baze: providing quality personalized nutrition.
What does that look like?
A quality offering means it needs to be evidence-based. This should be the price of admission in this industry. Ultimately, evidence-based means three things to us.
- There is no way around incorporating blood to read actual real-time nutrient status and to validate new markers such as DNA-based or digital lifestyle markers coming from your smartphone. Expanding the data driving your personalized nutrient dosing is important and we will be integrating more markers over the next few months.
- Being able to provide our users with a feedback loop to understand the impact they are receiving from our offerings.
- Further building our scientific substance as just evidenced by our Feedback Loop patent with more things to come here later in the year.
Combining this hard science approach with a world-class user experience. This means, for example, to fully empower customers to take action, because recommendations alone are not enough. The solutions we provide have to be as easy as possible to incorporate into the customer’s existing lifestyle, such as with home-delivered supplements, and an easy way to integrate more nutrient-dense food options via our partners to fill nutrient gaps.
It means as well to be very price-sensitive, where we have innovated to reduce blood analysis costs by 10x. It ultimately means to have a product that is fun, simple, and engaging to drive real sustainable impact.
It really sounds like personalized nutrition is getting to the next level?
Yes! Clearly when looking at scale, we are seeing it coming increasingly into the mainstream. Covid-19 is definitely further accelerating this.
And we see it very much as well on the product side. Marc Andreessen famously said, “software is eating everything”. I think he will be proven right as well for the nutrition industry. Data is at the core of this, which is why we have a data-first perspective at Baze. Imagine the power of knowing your nutritional profile and being able to take action on it.
One consequence obviously is that data privacy and security is of utmost importance and for this reason, we’re currently preparing for an ISO 27001 certification to show that our data privacy, security, and integrity are to the highest standards.
Finally, can you speak more to the convenient, actionable, and tailored solutions?
In this realm, we’ve had a big summer of updates and we’ve got even more slated for the fall. At the end of May, we quietly launched the first iteration of a new product offering: the Baze Food Guide, which is a collection of nutrient-dense meal plans, meals, and food items, curated by our dietitians. The guide can be filtered by each of the 10 essential nutrients we measure.
This means customers can leverage their blood nutrient levels to quickly find and purchase foods that are high in the nutrients they are deficient in. All meals and foods can then be delivered to their doorsteps. Over the next few months, we’ll continue expanding this offering and integrating it more thoroughly into our customers’ user experiences. In July, the Food Guide was named the best Personalized Nutrition Initiative of the Year by Nutraingredients—a very proud moment for our team!
Our dietitians are continually working on partnering with convenient and nutrient-dense meal plans and food brands to bring a wider array of solutions to customers as well. In July, we launched a strategic partnership with Performance Kitchen to provide nutrient-dense meal bundles to our customers, and this month, we’re launching a similar partnership with Eat Right Lifestyle Delivery Meal Plans. We are also working with national and regional grocers to bring Baze to as many people as possible.
On the science side, our nutrition scientists have some exciting updates in the works when it comes to making your supplement experience even more convenient and enjoyable.