Schulte explained that the company’s objective is to join “the worlds of personalized dietary supplements and actionable food solutions,” tapping into an even larger piece of the global personalized nutrition category, which is projected to double in market size over to $16.4bn by 2025 growing at CAGR of 15%, according to Reportlinker.
"Last year was a super important year in terms of consumer demand [for personalized nutrition] growing very strongly, and now with the whole COVID-19 situation that has only accelerated especially with a remote set up like ours," Schulte told FoodNavigator-USA.
Meal plan solutions
Founded in Berlin, Germany, in 2014 with US offices in Cambridge, Mass., the startup is extending its personalized nutrition mission to include more food recommendations through more food company partnerships, such as its recently-announced collaboration with Performance Kitchen, an emerging brand making healthy frozen meals that fit a number of dietary needs.
"It’s not a change of plans for us but a logical evolution really where the underlying principle is: let’s first understand what you really need, and let’s get this to you in the most convenient and actionable way possible," said Schulte.
“One thing that we are very aware of is that the current state of nutrition solutions is very fragmented, resulting in a lot of complexity which makes it difficult for people to adopt and adhere to new diet habits,”
In January 2020, Baze announced the planned launch of Baze Marketplace on its website, which carries certain products from a variety of brands that meet strict nutritional criteria enforced by the company’s team of registered dietitians (e.g. more than 50% whole grains and less than 10g of added sugar per serving).
The service is meant to act as a guide for consumers managing specific dietary plans who often must scour the grocery store to find brands and products that meet their individualized nutrition needs.
With the addition of Performance Kitchen, Baze will offer a meal plan subscription service to its platform. As part of the plan, Baze subscribers will receive meal plan recommendations (based on the same remote blood analysis) and choose from Performance Kitchen’s product portfolio, which includes keto/carb-wise, dairy-free/gluten-free, and low FODMAP to vegan, vegetarian, and renal diet frozen meal options.
Users also can shop the Marketplace for ‘add-on’ options to complement Performance Kitchen's meals.
Schulte clarified that the addition of meal plans is not an 'either, or' option, meaning customers must also be subscribed to Baze's monthly personalized dietary supplement plan to take advantage of the frozen meal offerings.
"Like at a restaurant, we offer a menu of options to really get the nutrients you need," he said.
Addressing micro-nutrient deficiencies
According the company, 93% of the US population is at risk of two or more nutrient deficiencies – even when following healthy dietary guidelines.
Baze users receive a blood-testing device that collects three to four drops of blood, which is sent back to the company’s lab where it runs analysis on key nutrients including selenium, magnesium, copper, omega-3, vitamin B12, vitamin E, zinc, and vitamin D.
Users also fill out their nutritional goals and current health status via the Baze app which, combined with tested blood nutrient levels, feeds into an algorithm compiled by the startup’s team of nutrition scientists to configure a personalized, nutrition plan, which costs users on average $15 per month plus $99 for a nutrient test and lab analysis.
The company claims that its approach has been proven to eliminate 73% of their customers' nutrient deficiencies in three months.
“Our position at Baze is that while there will always be an important role for targeted supplementation, the issue starts with diet and our solution can help our customers be smarter about what they eat. We believe this holistic approach will result in even better results in achieving optimum nutrition, and will also reshape how our customers think about food as tools for addressing their micro-nutrition needs ” added Schulte.