What Campbell’s Investment in Habit Means for Growing Food and Beverage Brands
Lifestyle and diet customization is nothing new. But few niches have had quite the same amount of attention as tailoring one’s diet and habits has. This may be why Campbell’s Soup recently became the sole investor in a new startup called Habit. As Fortune reports, Habit offers an “at-home test kit” which looks at DNA, blood, body metrics, and other details in order to to determine what nutrients are most ideal for each individual consumer. Sounds pretty futuristic doesn’t it?
You may be asking yourself, “What’s in it for Campbell’s or any other company who may want to get into this kind of business?” Firstly, Campbell’s gets to put their name behind something that hasn’t yet been done before. Habit is, as described by research firm Luxe Spotlight, “changing the traditionally linear food purchase and consumption process into a cybernetic loop, where information on the user’s body is used to dictate what they should consume in the future.”
Whether it turns into a huge success or not, being on the frontier of anything that hasn’t been done before is a good look for any company, especially a behemoth like Campbell’s. Secondly, keeping in mind the modus operandi of Habit is to collect a specific set of details about each of its clients, Campbell’s now has access to all of that data. The industry mainstay will now have a wealth of information on a sub-set of consumers they may not fully understand yet (i.e. the type of consumer that would buy into the Habit brand), giving them a leg up when it comes to knowing how to cater, market, and sell to said consumer.
As a hyper-focus on tailored products that meet each and every individual consumer’s health-related needs becomes the norm, more food and beverage brands will have to get on board. Sure, people will always want a greasy burger (made of meat or otherwise) every so often, but consumers are generally making a more concerted effort to eat right and live healthy. Healthy food and lifestyle choices have been a big hit over the last decade (with a spike in the last 5 years), but if the new trend is to personalize our products to consumers’ physiological make up, there is a whole new market to be explored. Of course, not every company has $32 million to throw around like Campbell’s, but the fact that such a long-standing and established company is diving into this new pool of opportunity headfirst should tell every brand one thing:
Get in now while it’s new and fresh, or come to terms with the fact that you will pay a lot more to get in later, putting your brand on the wrong side of history.
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