ONI Global, which is also GNC's sole franchisee in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines, will use Imagene Labs’ expertise in DNA genetic information to personalise the selection of supplements and nutraceuticals to suit individual customers.
According to both companies, this collaboration is the first of its kind in Asia.
It's in the genes
Using ONI Global’s DNA-me genetic test kit developed by Imagene Labs, customers can obtain extensive knowledge of 30 of their own genetic traits, revealing more about their fitness, nutrition and skin health.
As such, they will also better understand their potential in the areas of weight loss, building lean muscle, and genetic UV damage risk, as well as their specific vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Imagene Labs uses its proprietary bioinformatics to analyse specific gene locations connected to how an individual’s body responds to diet, exercise and environmental factors, along with their potential food sensitivities, and tendencies towards nutrient deficiencies.
The kits will be sold at all GNC and Xndo stores in Singapore, including the respective web stores. Customers can then register on a given website and arrange for collection of their test results at the same time.
Using the test kit entails a simple, non-invasive cheek swab, from which the contained gene sample is analysed at Imagene Labs’ testing facility in Singapore.
Customers will receive their results via email within two to three weeks of submitting their gene samples. Each report will be personalised and comprehensive, with recommendations on what the individual customer should take to supplement their nutritional needs, and assist them in weight management, athletic performance, energy, and skin health.
Curating for the customer
Based on these recommendations, ONI Global then curates products according to each customer’s unique genetic requirements.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, CEO Cynthia Poa said: “Customers may choose to refer to their reports to decide on what is best for them, or they can approach any of our sales assistants for guidance.
“All GNC store staff go through a minimum of three months of rigorous product and nutrition training to be able to assist customers with their enquiries.
“Otherwise, customers can contact us via phone to speak to any of our certified nutritionists. We are also available via email and Facebook chat.”
Poa had earlier said that the genetic information derived from the DNA-me test kit would allow ONI Global to be more precise and scientifically sound in addressing individual needs.
In a media release, Imagene Labs’ founder and MD Dr Wong Mun Yew said: “We’re seeing an increasing demand for product personalisation from both consumers and businesses as people become more aware of how our DNA makes each of us unique.
“By democratising the use of genetic insights, we enable consumers to take better control of their personal health and wellness. The biggest advantage genetic testing offers is that it not only serves an individual's existing needs, but also allows one to understand potential risk areas and manage them in advance. This is preventive health in action."
The DNA-me test kits will be available at all GNC retail and e-commerce outlets in Singapore by Q2 this year. They will also be sold in ONI Global’s other markets, though launch dates for those countries will be announced later.
Poa said, “ONI Global will continuously curate, develop and select the best nutraceutical products to fill any gaps that may arise, in order to ensure the nutritional needs of its customers are met.
“Currently, we constantly rely on feedback from customers to help us develop and innovate new products. These products are developed based what is best for customers, as opposed to what is on trend.”