- Earth Fare is using genetic data in its latest food-as-medicine offering through a new partnership with GenoPalate, a company that specializes in personalized nutrition science, the specialty grocer announced earlier this month.
- Customers can receive a personalized nutrition report by submitting their genetic information along with details like weight, age, wellness goals and lifestyle habits to GenoPalate. Participants will also have access to a free consultation with one of Earth Fare’s wellness experts to better understand the report’s findings.
- Grocers continue to expand food-as-medicine initiatives as shoppers’ trust in their local food stores for nutrition guidance strengthens.
The personalized report, available on GenoPalate’s app or mobile website, offers tailored meal plans, recipe packs and daily supplement recommendations as well as knowledge about how genes influence eating habits and stress responses, according to the announcement.
GenoPalate’s report also provide recommendations on an individual’s “macro and micro intakes” as well as an optimal foods list based on the genetic findings, Chris Connell, GenoPalate’s senior digital marketing manager, said in an interview.
“[The report] categorizes these food groups, so you have your vegetables, your fruits,” Laurie Aker, Earth Fare’s director of marketing, added in the interview. “You click on the vegetables link [and] it’ll list the top five or six and why you should be eating those, all the way down to healthy oils and fats and the different kinds of proteins that you intake.”
All Earth Fare locations display QR codes that shoppers can scan to order their Essential Nutrition Report from GenoPalate. Shoppers can then either upload their existing genetic data or use GenoPalate’s at-home DNA collection kit. Participants who submit their genetic data directly will receive their personalized report within 24 hours, while those who send in a DNA sample will receive their report within four to six weeks, Connell said.
On Earth Fare’s website, GenoPalate’s Essential Nutrition report is priced at $199, with a current, limited-time offer of $161 with the DNA kit and $129 without it.
A free consultation with one of GenoPalate’s registered dietitians is also offered to participating customers so they can better understand the report’s findings. GenoPalate’s dietitians have also trained Earth Fare’s wellness experts as well as entire store teams to ensure staff members can answer any questions when customers inquire about this new offering.
The offerings between Earth Fare and GenoPalate do not end here, however.
To complement the nutrition report’s guidance, Earth Fare is gearing up to offer more hot-and-ready meals, supplement blends and prepared meal kits that will target areas of nutrition health, such as fiber intake, vitamins and more, Aker said.
“[W]e're going to build even more than in-house meals. We'll be using some proteins and our juice and smoothie bar at Earth Fare. We’ll be sending communication to all of the members with coupons and healthy recipes. We actually just hired an in-house nutritionist to help work with GenoPalate to create these future programs,” Aker added. “So it's going to evolve throughout the rest of the year. This is only the beginning for us.”
Food-as-medicine offerings continue to pick up speed across the industry as shoppers rely more heavily on grocers for nutrition and health guidance, and Aker and Connell both feel that utilizing genetic science will become a common practice.
“[P]eople come to us that need help on their nutrition and they need that guidance. And when you get that information, it's hard to figure out a way to implement it into your life,” Connell said. “So if you have a partnership with your local grocery store, like Earth Fare has with their customers, there's already a trust there that's built and there's the resources and the high-quality ingredients to actually take those learnings and implement them into actions in your daily life.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly noted that Earth Fare wellness experts offer consultations to go over report findings.