Predicting the future: Indian start-up launches AI-based personalised nutrition service

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

The dry fruit refresher is one of the key health foods products at BhookhaHaathi. ©BhookhaHaathi
The dry fruit refresher is one of the key health foods products at BhookhaHaathi. ©BhookhaHaathi

Related tags: India, personalised nutrition, AI

Indian nutraceutical start-up BhookhaHaathi is launching an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based personalised nutrition service, where the system pre-empts the users current and future health condition and makes customised recommendations.

The launch took place last month. 

Users will need to answer a questionnaire, including information on their blood groups, weight, age, and, depending on their health concerns, they may need to undergo a blood test.

Information collected is keyed into the AI system, which then provides a set of lifestyles, diet, and nutraceuticals recommendations.

 “The AI studies the profile of a particular consumer and then categorises he/she with other consumers who are of the same profile and then pre-empt their health needs and recommend the nutrients that they need,​” Abhimanyu Rishi, the director of BhookhaHaathi Hospitality, told NutraIngredients-Asia.

In fact, the personalised nutrition service is an addition to the company’s existing nutraceutical business.

They range from vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, electrolytes, and phyto-nutrients – all free from additives, colour, and gluten, and will be part of the personalised nutrition recommendations.

After going through the first round of recommendations, the AI continues to pre-empt the health condition of the users and subsequently make new suggestions along the way.

“It is an ongoing process, that's why we recommend the users to come onboard for at least six months,” ​Rishi said.  

The AI technology, which took the company at least six months to develop, was granted with a patent in January.

Pilot test

The AI-based personalised nutrition service will officially launch on March 15, but the company had earlier conducted a pilot test and amassed a database of 1,500 users.

The pilot test took a community-based approach, where it worked with gyms, yoga centres, and cycling marathon events to promote its personalised nutrition service. 

Moving forward, Rishi plans to promote the business through such an approach, while making the service accessible to all through subscription on its website at the same time.

“For example, when we go to a yoga centre, we will pitch a generic product for them to try out. Once they are convinced that the product is something nice, we will suggest them to take a personalised product,” ​he said.

“We incubate the yoga teacher as an influencer. We want to get into the community and by the word-of-mouth,” ​he said, explaining that doing so would be more effective than putting out advertisements.

The company also intends to develop specialised products for niche sports communities to cater to their specific energy and nutritional needs.

Stop tobacco chewing

Besides providing personalised nutrition, the company also has another mission – which is to stop tobacco chewing.

The company has set the goal of reducing the consumption of tobacco by over 50% by year 2050.

As such, it launched its flagship nutraceutical product, the dry-fruit refresher, which comprise of dried fruit, herbs, and nut-based mouth refreshers as an alternative to chewing tobacco two years ago.

Rishi said that there has been a “very good response”​ for the product, with a yoy sales growth of almost 250% since launching within the Bangalore region.

“It is a two-in-one product, to reduce chewing habit and a good health and energy booster.”

The refreshers are promoted in shops selling cigarettes, where first timers will be recommended to try a 2g pack refreshers, and a 100g or even a 250g packs on subsequent purchase.

Moving forward, the company hopes to bring all of its nutraceutical products – which are pending registration with the US FDA - into the country as it sees it as a mature nutraceutical market.

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