NEW YORK — Personalized nutrition has been noted as “the next big opportunity” and a massive challenge for packaged food companies. Emerging technologies such as home testing kits and wearable fitness trackers provide an unprecedented understanding of an individual’s health, and many consumers are experimenting with various diet and lifestyle approaches to achieve optimal mental and physical wellness.
A new tool centering on personalized nutrition is Pinto, a technology platform created by designers, dietitians and data scientists who spent the past year and a half compiling a detailed database of tens of thousands of food products. The team partnered with Whole Foods Market, the Campbell Soup Co. and Kroger Co. to chronicle anything from added sugars to allergens or whether a product aligns with a number of niche diets or lifestyles.
“The idea is that we’re not all the same, so why should we get the exact same nutrition info?” said Sam Slover, co-founder and chief executive officer. “Rather than treat everyone as if they have the exact same needs when it comes to nutrition, we recognize that different people increasingly have different needs and more nuanced considerations when it comes to nutrition.”
Through a website (Pinto.co) and mobile app, users may find, evaluate and track foods based on specific dietary needs ranging from ketogenic to kidney-friendly. Pinto helps users track nutrients and ingredients that are most relevant to their given diet and health goals. For example, an individual managing diabetes may receive different information and analysis of products than someone following the Whole30 program. Users may search the database or scan a barcode to receive customized information for a product.
“It’s like having your very own food label that’s designed specifically for you,” Mr. Slover said.
Pinto also helps consumers identify products that meet individual dietary needs or preferences, such as high-protein yogurts with no added sugars or paleo breakfast items. For those who are not following a specific diet but are simply interested in eating more healthfully, Pinto provides analysis around core concepts of healthy eating and highlights nutrients such as sodium, saturated fat, fiber, added sugars and whole grains.
Users may also snap a photo of a meal and use image recognition to identify and track it through the mobile app.
“It’s all about the right information for the right user rather than one-size-fits-all nutrition,” Mr. Slover said.