Have you been wondering how many calories you consume in a day or your daily protein intake? Well, most people are becoming conscious of what they are eating and how many calories they consume on a regular basis. Keeping track of your dietary intake and physical activity is difficult. However, you can keep a tab on the nutrition intake on a daily basis by using diet and nutrition tracking apps. These calories and fitness tracking mobile apps have proved to be quite beneficial to health-conscious people. With increased awareness about health and fitness, these apps have started gaining popularity. In this article, we are going to learn about developing a diet and nutrition app along with the features that need to be in such apps and the cost of app development.
What is a Diet and Nutrition Tracking App?
If you are planning to invest your money in developing a diet and nutrition app, you must know the target audience and the market for the same. It is an application that provides assistance to the users on the maintenance of their dietary intake on an hourly, daily, or monthly basis. Like smartwatches counting your steps and physical activities, these apps count the nutrition that one consumes in each meal.
These apps do not only help one in losing weight, but also give them aid in improving their lifestyle, food habits, etc. One can get a personalized nutrition intake schedule based on the kind of foods they consume in a day. These apps can be very helpful to those who are cautious about what they are eating in each meal. It helps users create a daily calorie goal and consume food only according to it.
The app also allows users to scan the barcode on an edible product to get a count on the number of calories it contains. All in all, it is an app that can save your entire data regarding your diet and offer you assistance in consuming healthy food timely.
Target Audience of Diet Planning App
The app developers and owners should make it a point to figure out who are the potential users of the application and which groups of the society are going to benefit the most out of it. Take a look at the probable users of the app:
These apps fall under the activity tracking apps as it records the diet habits of people suggesting them nutrition intake. Users who are conscious of their daily diets are more prolonged to use these apps. An ideal app for those who want to maintain a track of their meals, these apps help users keep updated about their weight gain and loss. For those who are looking for a healthier lifestyle are also susceptible to download these apps.
Fitness centers offer a wide range of workout equipment to their users, however, providing their clients with an app that helps them take proper diet will put them in a win-win situation. This can help them outshine the other fitness centers that do not offer such services. This is not only new to the fitness industry but something that clients have always been looking for.
As the people are gaining awareness around the health benefits of eating nutrient-rich food, they are getting more inclined towards getting their diet charts being made by official nutritionists. However, a diet chart is not enough for a nutritionist to keep going. Therefore, they have started asking their clients to rely on these apps for getting a better understanding of their meals and counting their calories.
The willingness of people in order to get and stay fit by eating the correct and right amount of food has also generated a source of revenue for both health businesses and app developers who can create apps for the health and fitness industry.
Market Stats to Support Investment in Diet and Nutrition Tracking App
With time the tools of food and nutrition apps have gained immense popularity and have become a necessity for many. Since there is no better and faster way for one to count their calories and work on their diet and food consumption, these apps have made it possible to keep a tab on what they eat and when they eat it. There is high competition in this vertical, but what keeps a diet and nutrition app going are the features it offers to its users.
With time, users have started investing a lot of their time and money in such apps as they are more reliable than any other person or tool available in the field. Since health is of utmost importance to every single person, they keep looking for ways to maintain a lifestyle that will help them stay strong physically in the long run. Therefore, these apps have gained widespread recognition. For the past three years, many of these apps have come into being, each offering something different from the others.
Let’s take a look at some of the market and growth statistics of these applications according to various researches conducted over the years:
- According to Netimperetive, these apps have seen an increase in their engagement of over 330 percent.
- A Grand View Research clarifies that the global mobile health market will grow at a CAGR of 29.2 percent. According to the same study, it is believed that the market will reach $ 316.8 billion by 2027.
- Which age group has the maximum usage of these apps? Statista reports that people between 18 to 29 use these apps on a regular basis to track their diet.
- Another study named Transl Behav Medicine stated that 53 percent of the people use these apps to track their physical activities, 48 percent use it for tracking their food habits, 47 percent to lose weight, and 37 percent to learn exercise.
- Healthworks collectives state that there are over 97,000 fitness and health apps that one can use on their device.
- The potential growth of the fitness app market is $ 1.68 billion in the years between 2020 to 2024, according to the market research company Technavio.
Leading Health and Fitness apps in the US in June 2020, by number of downloads
According to another survey performed by Statista, it was revealed that the total global mHealth market is expected to reach almost 100 billion US$ by next year and there is a significant rise from being a 21 billion US$ in 2016.
Top health and fitness mobile applications that rack up this gigantic revenue are mentioned below along with their contribution.
- Calorie Counter – MyFitnessPal has revenue of 1,241,651 US$
- Calm – Meditate, Sleep, Relax has revenue of 1,149,581 US$
- Headspace racks up a total revenue of 838,548 US$
- Freelectics Training Coach – Bodyweight and mindset sums a total revenue of 724, 780 US$
- Fitbit accumulates 688,348 US$
Business Models for Diet Planner and Food Tracking App
Self Owned Diet Planning App
This business model is restricted to a single owner of the app who sells only his products and services on the application. Unlike the aggregator model, this model is a platform that is self-owned nutrition tracking mobile application and is dedicated only to a single brand of products or services.
Aggregator Food & Health Tracking App
It is a platform that gives space to various nutritionists, fitness centers, and dietitians. It a business model of networking where these specialists meet with the clients under one roof and are able to sell their services under the brand name of the application itself. This model is restricted to sell the services and products that are uniform in quality and their prices. Selling services under the aggregator model does not make the service providers the employees of the app owners, in fact, they get marketing assistance from the app owners in terms of selling their services through the platform.
Monetization Opportunities Offered by Calorie/Food Tracking Apps
Now that you have decided to get a diet and nutrition application developed under any of the models, you must aim to make the optimum use of it by offering special features to the users. This will help you get a higher ranking on the app store and generate more revenue. Earning money is the ultimate goal of all apps, and these apps are no exception to it. To flourish and thrive in the long run, it is important for these apps to generate a handsome amount of revenue. Let’s take a look at the monetization opportunities for these apps.
You might launch your app on any of the devices (iOS, Android or both), but the most common and basic way of any app to earn money is through offering its membership in return of a certain amount of money. However, users have become smart and look for options for free. This is where your design and selling skills come into play. You have to make it look attractive so that it can beat the competition and stand out. All the key features that will grab the user’s attention needs to be in the catalog of Google Play and App Store. Under this method, you will get your share and the marketing team will get their cut.
This is one of the most common types of monetization strategies wherein one can sponsor the products of a brand that offers something pertaining to a similar industry.
Since an app is providing a large customer base to brands and people offering services, the app owners ask for a certain amount of percentage from each transaction that happens with the help of the application. Since there is transparency in all transactions that happen on the diet and nutrition applications, the app owners can figure out the percentage the sellers owe them in return for providing them the platform to sell their services.
An example of this is that Apple and Google both take away 30% of every in-app purchase that is made through your app. The thing is that large players don’t have to pay 30% and this is because if you are a big enough company then you have the power to negotiate individual commission rates with the app stores.
Last but the most important one, is the lifeline of any application. Once a mobile app starts doing well and attracting users, it starts offering other brands space on its landing page and inside pages for advertising their products and services. These in-app advertisements don’t take long when it comes to implementation and one can make easy money through these. Take a look at the various kinds of ads that can be displayed on the apps:
- Banner ads
- Interstitial ads
- Native ads
- Affiliate ads
- Reward ads
Freemium Business Model
It is described as one of the most beneficial methods to monetize an app. However, it requires two types of functionality while being implemented. Among these, the first one is standard and requires no payment while the second one is certainly more helpful and contains more appealing features that the user has to pay for in order to access. The conclusion that we can draw from this model is that at the start it attracts users with basic and default features and after then lure users to pay in order to access more content.
The benefits of this model include less time required to create a powerful user base and it being a flexible user model that can be implemented in apps of various kinds.
The cons of this model include lack of default features and the functionality of this model is too advanced which will not provide a desire to pay for the updated version to the users.
Top Diet and Nutrition Tracking Apps Across The World
Lose it is an efficient nutrition planner that offers a simple and basic method of keeping a track of your diet and physical activity. Its database includes thousands of food names and food recipes from restaurants all across the globe. These food recipes and food items are suggested by the nutrition team of Lose it. Apart from this Lose it keeps a track of all the macronutrients of a user.
- It has a superb database of a large number of food products and activities and the fun part is that you have the option of adding some new ones by yourself.
- Keeps a proper track of all your macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber)
- Have an automatic synchronization with the web version
- Gamification and Levels
Eat this much
The most exciting feature of this app is that it creates a meal plan based on user preferences. In the past year or so, Eat this much has gained massive popularity among the app users because of its number of great features and clear interface. It provides a possibility of drawing up a variety of rations each day. This app is easy to use because of the interface that is simple and well developed.
- The main functions of this app are that it can keep control over the number of calories consumed by a person and help them set goals of weight gain and loss.
- Has the ability to control the number of calories and macronutrients.
- Setting up an individual meal for a particular day.
This app has an amalgamation of some of the most popular and distinct life coaches who can help users maintain the nutrition intake in their diet and assist them on their eating habits. Although the Rise app is available only for iPhone users, it has gained immense popularity in the past couple of years by providing coaches who keep a tab on the nutrition and food intake of the users and maintain their growth chart.
General Features in a Health, Diet and Food Tracking App
For User panel
User are enabled to make their own profile under this feature. All their information, their food habits and diet charts are saved in their profile, therefore, each user should have a distinct profile.
2. Logging of food intake
Users should be able to keep a tab on the amount of food they are consuming by logging in the details on the app under this feature.
3. Connectivity of the app with a wearable device
Since users have become advanced, so have these applications by allowing them to integrate their fitness bands with these apps. This way, they can always be able to log their food intake and physical activities done on a daily basis.
4. Diet plans
This feature allows them to connect with diet experts who make specific diet plans depending upon their eating habits and food habits. This is how they get personalised diet charts.
5. Push notifications
This is a special feature that ensures that the users get the latest information on any update in the app or any changes that can help them avail any sort of discount on the services offered by the mobile application.
This is one of the most important features that helps user make their decision. Based on the feedback of other users and the ratings given by them, they should be able to make a better decision of either using or abandoning the application.
7. Diet suggestion
This allows the users to seek suggestions regarding their diet from the diet experts.
For Admin panel
1. CRM Integration
The admin assists the users with the help of integrated CRM system in the app.
2. Real-time analytics
With the help of this feature the admin can make better decisions regarding business choices. They can look into the current user base and scenario of the application for the same.
This unique feature enables the admin to screen and break any insights. They get access to the statistics of the users an app has at one point of time from the dashboard.
For Dietitians, Food Nutritionists & Health Experts
1. Live chats
Dietitians and health experts can host live interactions with their followers and app users under this feature.
2. Hire a dietitian
This enables them to guide the users on their diet, if the latter decides to hire them as their dietitian.
3. In-app call with number masking
An expert can get in touch with the experts with the feature of in app call, that masks their contact numbers safeguarding their privacy.
4. Recipe list
The dietitians can put up the list of recipes that they have, to offer to their clients.
5. Profile Management
They can create their own profile with deatails like their name, experience, speciality and certifications in the field of health and nutrition.
6. Create/Manage Custom Diet Plans
They can create and update various diet charts for the app users to achive different fitness goals. For eg: there is a diet chart for fat loss and another for building muscle.
7. Create Custom Exercise Routines
They can also create and modify specific fitness routines for users to follow to attain a healthy and fit body.
Advanced Features of Diet and Nutrition tracking app
BMR & BMI Calculation on Onboarding
BMI (Body Mass Index) is one of the most important aspects of Diet and nutrition tracking app. After the registration process is completed by the users they are asked to enter certain details about themselves such as weight, height, food preferences, sex, allergies if any, etc. Now, as soon as this step is done with, a detailed report is generated as per the body measurements and keeping that in check, the fitness experts create a diet plan and set achievable goals for their clients.
Food and Physical activity logging
Any specific app needs to have a feature that is competent in logging in an individual’s daily calorie intake and physical activity which includes keeping track of sleeping hours, numbers of steps walked. This presents us that with a helping hand of a relative database, users can easily relate to the physical activities and the food consumed by them with the targeted calorie intake. This information will provide clarity to the users regarding the steps they need to walk and the food they need to eat in order to achieve their set goals.
Diet & Nutrition Analyzer
Each user has a goal that can be set on the app as well. With this feature, they can get a clear understanding of how close they are towards achieving their goal. This feature should be presented in such a way that the users can easily comprehend it and enjoy its optimum usage
Hire Fitness Experts or Dieticians
This is the icing on the cake, wherein users can get experts to manage their diet and make diet charts for them on a regular basis. These experts not only share personalized diet charts but make it easier for the users by offering them healthy food recipes as well. These health and fitness experts provide their guidance on the basis of the body measurement report and the user’s goals.
Connect with Nutritionists Live for Suggestions & Tips
This is one of the best features to enhance the user experience. What could be better than connecting with experts on health and fitness via the app and take their advice on your food pattern? Herein, one can discuss their fitness regime along with the diet plans and ask the experts about their opinion on the same. Users have the option of connecting with a particular nutritionist through the in-app calling. In order to secure the privacy of the dietician, the numbers are masked. The users get the call connected directly via a special toll-free number.
In-app recipe book
Users might want to follow a strict diet regime, but might not be sure of how to introduce nutrition in their meals. This is when this feature becomes the most helpful. It gives them an idea of how to prepare healthy meals with the help of the detailed recipes available on the app. In this section, the users are provided with a bucket of healthy food recipes which are shared and suggested by various in-app nutritionists on a daily basis.
Push Notifications and Alerts
Push notifications and alerts are really important to keep a user on track for his desired goal. Alerts remind the users about the activity they had to do at a particular time or a meal they had to take. If the user is looking to skip a meal or exercise, these reminders will spur them on to achieve their desired goals on a daily. Also if a new feature is added or some important information needs to be shared then also these alerts will play their part.
Leader board and badges
In the world of competition and everyone trying to beat the others, this feature keeps the users strong-willed and determined to keep on top. This helps in notifying the users of the person that stayed on top in a week or a month in terms of following their diet and physical activities. They are also given badges based on their performance via the application.
Food & Dietary Intake Suggestions
Each person has a different aim for their diet altogether. While some might subscribe to the app for Weight loss, some might be looking forward to gaining weight and others having some other fitness goals. This feature enables the users to enter their goal so that they can be offered a diet suggestion accordingly. Every diet planner app needs to have an interactive feature that suggests food intake for the users on the basis of their specified body measurements like height, weight, meals or preferences, etc.
QR or Barcode Scanner for identifying the calorific value of a food item
While not everyone might able to distinguish between the calories between various foods, these apps make it easier for them to fetch nutrition value by allowing them to scan the barcode or the QR code on each food item and record it directly on the app.
Users are helped by the nutritionists and experts on the ingredients they might want to prepare a healthy dish. They get assistance in making their shopping lists according to their food preferences.
Apple HealthKit & Google Fit integration
Both Google Fit and Apple HealthKit help to monitor and store all the user’s fitness details like weight, height, step count, and more by using various sensors in your smartphone. This way, users can always be able to log their food intake and physical activities are done on a daily basis. So, these services act as a centralized database that can be utilized by diet and nutrition tracking apps. So, integrating these apps with your diet planner app helps us to find insights about user health and offer better suggestions for changes in diet and physical activity.
It allows the users to look for help for any issues they face while utilizing the app. The CRM integration creates responses for the asked questions and gives the users a feeling of involvement. Users might get stuck on the app at any point of time and might seek assistance from the technicians or other staff of the application. Therefore, CRM integration is a must that should be looking into all complaints of the users and helping them at each stage. The feedback also helps in upgrading the functionality and quality of the app which proves to be advantageous in the long run for the app.
Nutrition Feeds API Integration
Nutrition feeds API integration is very useful while developing a diet and fitness tracking app. These APIs help the app get access to a large database of food items and recipes containing information about nutrients and calories. NutritionX, MyFitnessPal, BigOven, and ChompThis are some of the nutrition feeds used in such an app. This feature helps the users by providing them with special feeds on diet and nutrition which they can turn to if they need assistance with any kind of foods or a diet pattern.
This feature enables the app admin to make better decisions regarding business choices by looking into the current user base and scenario of the application. Reports, pie charts, live dashboards can be looked after by the administrator. Statistics associated with user procurement and standards for dependability offers that can be easily be taken advantage of.
Provide community platform
It is really encouraging for the app creators if their users spread a word about their dieting experience and bring along their friends to join this endeavor. There are various ways of spreading the fire about health and fitness like social sharing, blogs, user forums, groups. This helps the user engage in conversation with other users and get in touch with people of similar interests.
Required Team for Fitness & Food Tracking App Development
For the development of a near-perfect diet & nutrition application, must need members in the app development team are:
- Project Manager
- Front-end Developers
- Back-end developers
- iOS developers
- Android Developers
- UX/UI Designers
Tech Stack for Diet Planner and Nutrition App Development
After you have decided what kind of specialized features you want to add to your app, it is time to focus on the tech stack. Tech stack is the technical side of an app and is extremely important in making or breaking an app.
- Front end developer: Java, Swift, Angular, Java, CSS, HTML, React
- Back end developers: Python, Laravel, Node.js
- Push notifications: Twilio, Push.io
- SMS, Voice, and Phone Verification: Nexmo, Twilio
- Payment processing: PayPal API, EWallets, Stripe API, and Braintree SDK
- Database: MongoDB, Hbase, Cassandra, Postgress, Mail Chimp Integration
- Cloud Environment: Google Cloud, AWS
- Location tracking: MapKit framework for iOS, and Google Maps SDK for Android
- Social login: Facebook, Google, Twitter APIs
- GWT for Powerful Programming
- Data Management: Datastax
- Emails: Mandrill
- Operating System: Debian
- Realtime Analytics: Hadoop, Spark, BigData, Apache Flink, Cisco, IBM
Cost of Developing a Diet & Nutrition Tracking App
Since the diet & nutrition tracking app is of high demand, you need a team of skilled professionals to perform the task for you. While a definite figure of computing the cost of a diet and nutrition app is near to impossible, we can state the factors that contribute to the costing of these apps. Take a look at the cost estimating aspects:
- Feature: If the app owners plan to keep more advanced features in the app, it will cost more as compared to an MVP which is limited when it comes to features.
- Timeline: The time taken on developing the application also plays an important role in the budget.
- App Complexity: The more complex the app is the higher the development cost will be. For example Third-party integrations
Take a look at the estimated cost of hiring app developers
- US-based developers charges in a region of $70-$250 for every hour.
- Europe-based developers charges in a region of $50-$150 for every hour.
- Indian developers charge $25-$80 for every hour.
With people becoming conscious about their diets and fitness goals, there is a wide scope of diet and fitness apps thriving in the app world. Therefore, this time is pretty much perfect to create a diet and fitness app of your own and enter the market with a unique idea in order to lure the audience towards your app. For developing a healthcare app, you must be sure of hiring the best team of experts who have prior experience in the same field and can guide you through the development process.