Data-driven personalized nutrition service Habit has raised $32 million in an investment from Campbell's Soup, according to a report in the Philadelphia Business Journal. Campbell's CEO Denise Morrison told the Journal the investment was "part of our broader efforts to define the future of food, which requires fresh thinking, new models of innovation, smart external development and venture investing to create an ecosystem of innovative partners."
Habit, which plans to launch in 2017, delivers personal nutrition plans. The user will purchase a test kit and collect data about their genetics, their vitals, and their metabolism, which is sent to a lab. They also input data about their health goals. Then the company uses that data and machine learning algorithms to determine the user's ideal diet. The user recieves online guidance from a diet coach and specially-prepared meals delivered to their door. The company will also have an app that allows users to track progress and connect with one another socially.
"Look around you. We are all different shapes, sizes, ages, genders and we all have different lifestyles. It’s just common sense to reject the idea that we all need the same food, in the same amounts, at the same time," Habit CEO Neil Grimmer wrote in a blog post. "Science now backs up this common sense. Our bodies need different things. Our biology, our DNA, the blood running through our veins tells us that. We just need the tools to tune into our bodies and listen to what foods it’s asking for."
A number of the team at Habit have ties to other startups in the digital health world. Dr. Alan Greene, listed as Chief Heatlh Officer at Habit, is the former Chief Medical Officer at Scanadu and current Chief Medical Officer at uBiome. Two members of the advisory board, Dr. Leroy Hood and Dr. Nathan Price, are cofounders of Arivale, a startup with a very similar offering to Habit but less focused on food. The advisory board also includes Dr. Joshua Anthony, VP of Global R&D at Campbell Soup Company.
The company has another tie to Campbell's that could shed some additional light on the investment: Campbell's acquired Plum Organics, the baby food company founded by Grimmer, in 2013.