Disruption: will data fundamentally transform the industry?

Joana Maricato and Ezequiel Sánchez confront this issue and express their thoughts on the future of the nutraceutical industry, new technologies and precision medicine.

As a Senior Market Analyst for New Nutrition Business, Joana Maricato attended Vitafoods Fair 2017. “I think Vitafoods Europe is always very interesting as an event. You really have a mix of all the industry players from manufacturers to suppliers to marketing agencies.

As Joana explained, New Nutrition Business has twenty years of experience in the field and provides market insights and consumer insights on the food, health and nutrition industry. We evaluate market trends and behaviours”.

When asked about disruption and the effect of new technologies on the nutraceutical industry, Maricato considered the issue from both a business and a consumer perspective.

She eloquently argued that “companies really need to be careful with the amount of work they demand from the consumer” based on the idea that “consumers really want to have the maximum output with the minimum input”.

This argumentation stresses the idea that, in the era of new technologies, consumers seek valid, accurate and personalized information, but are willing to invest limited time and efforts in generating it. In this context, in order to remain competitive, companies must be capable of offering high additional value to consumers, asking for little in return.

On the other hand, as 7 Senses LTD’s business development manager, Ezequiel Sanchez approached the question from a different angle. In my opinion the industry is changing, but its changing at a slower pace than the consumers. He further explained that technology is going faster from the consumer side than from the industry side and as a result, like Maricato, he agrees to the idea that companies that embrace new technologies have a clear competitive advantage in the near future.

However, both speakers adopted confronted roles in Monteloeder’s third interactive debate. Here, Joana Maricato begun by expressing her position on technology and disruption: my point of view is that technology will disrupt, but it will be a multifactorial disruption. It won’t be technology alone. She explained that, despite technology being an important factor to take into account, companies have to fill the circle around personalization and give not only technology but other types of advice and other types of support that are also very important”.

On the opposing side, Ezequiel Sánchez’s reasoning was based on the importance of technology itself, its development, innovation against competitors, and problem-solving. Trust is a currency, it can go up or down, it depends on what you do and if technology allows a consumer to perceive that their problem is being solved, this will increase trust.

In the end, it seems like most of the audience agreed with Maricato’s argumentation and arrived to the conclusion that technology by itself is not as valuable as when its complemented by education, other kinds of products, additional advice, support, etc. Therefore, the audience of Monteloeder’s third interactive debate gave 64,3% of the votes to Joana Maricato and 35,7% to Ezequiel Sánchez.

This event embraced Monteloeder’s intentions of bringing the audience into an enriching interactive experience. The debate allowed them to witness in first person how two experts in the field debated on relevant and innovative issues of the world of nutrigenomics, the nutraceutical industry, and the technological disruption.

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