BACKGROUND: Personalised nutrition (PN) may promote public health. PN involves dietary advice based on individual characteristics of end users and can for example be based on lifestyle, blood and/or DNA profiling. Currently, PN is not refunded by most health insurance or health care plans. Improved public health is contingent on individual consumers being willing to pay for the service.
METHODS: A survey with a representative sample from the general population was conducted in eight European countries (N= 8233). Participants reported their willingness to pay (WTP) for PN based on lifestyle information, lifestyle and blood information, and lifestyle and DNA information. WTP was elicited by contingent valuation with the price of a standard, non-PN advice used as reference.
RESULTS: About 30% of participants reported being willing to pay more for PN than for non-PN advice. They were on average prepared to pay about 150% of the reference price of a standard, non-personalised advice, with some differences related to socio-demographic factors.
CONCLUSION: There is a potential market for PN compared to non-PN advice, particularly among men on higher incomes. These findings raise questions to what extent personalized nutrition can be left to the market or should be incorporated into public health programs.