Love it or Hate it? It’s all down to your DNA
Arguably the UK’s most divisive food brand, Marmite, is claiming that our love - or perhaps hate - for the salty brown stuff is all down to our genetics.
As part of the new Marmite Gene Project campaign, scientific tests carried out by genetic testing center DNAFit have linked taste preferences for the yeast extract to an individual’s DNA. Although the science behind the claim has come under fire from scientific experts, the concept may appeal to those British consumers who find the idea of DNA-based diets attractive.
According to GlobalData’s 2016 Q3 survey, almost a third (30%) of British consumers find the concept of products customised to their own DNA sample appealing. This figure rises to 44% among the lucrative Millennial generation; suggesting that these consumers are likely to be most attracted by Marmite’s campaign.
DNA-based diets take the concept of personalisation to the next level, appealing to those who believe that a “one size fits all” approach to diet and health does not work. Marmite’s playful campaign is not looking to cater to specific dietary requirements, but the idea that our taste preferences come from our genetic make-up opens up possibilities for more personalised products, as determined by our genes, in future.
The campaign includes special edition “Gene Project” jars and even gives consumers the opportunity to buy their own DNA Kit for an eye-watering £89.99. The kit enables consumers to take saliva swaps which can be sent to DNAFit for analysis to see if they were “born a lover or a hater.”
While most people don’t need to spend almost £90 to discover if they love or hate Marmite; the marketing gimmick plays into the “love it or hate it” mantra that is synonymous to the brand’s history and longevity. It also begs the question whether future food choices will be determined more by genetics, rather than curiosity to try something new.