Modern lifestyle with immense tight schedules and work-life pressure seriously impacts human health. A large ratio of people is dealing with certain chronic health conditions and are dependent on medical support and supervision. Health conditions like obesity may not seem serious but are powerful enough to invite certain serious health problems. 

According to the reports in the US prevalence of obesity is increased up to 41.9 percent in past years. Obesity is key to serious health disorders such as hypertension, cholesterol imbalance, heart diseases, sleep apnea, mental illness, and many more such chronic health issues. 

It has become necessary to keep a keen interest because, according to recent reports, 4.7 million people deal with premature death because of obesity. Although, obesity is a preventable issue and can be managed with some strict meal planning and scheduled discipline. Further in this article, we will discuss meal planning with advanced technology management through an app and its premium features. Let us start:

What Is Meal Planning?

planning a meal for fitness

Meal planning is the act of scheduling or planning the meal with accurate portions for a week or month. Meal planning is beneficial for scheduling the preferable meals with seasonal tastes and flavors according to the availability and your taste preference. Consecutive meal planning maintains taste and health in authentic flavors and provides you with balanced nutrients. 

According to the specialist, 29 percent of people in the US strictly plan their meals weekly to gain health benefits. Meal planning helps you to pick the best one among plenty of tasty options available in the market. It also reduces frequent grocery shopping by selecting the options according to the planned meal. Currently, meal planner apps are present to assist you in planning your meals according to your choice, taste, and health disorder. 

Do We Need An App For Meal Planning?

meal planning app UI

Technology has empowered the market with a major drift in every industrial platform. The Healthcare industry has gained a favorable transformation which supports a large ratio of people for favorably managing their health condition. 

According to a recent survey, 35 percent of people of growing age (those between 50 to 60 years) are likely to plan their meals.

The growing trend has encouraged middle-aged individuals; currently, 34 percent of people significantly plan their meals weekly or monthly. 

According to specialists and experts, it has become extremely important to plan according to the nutritional values of foods and seasonal ingredients with precise recipes. Meal planner apps can help you to manage many additional tasks related to the meals like grocery shopping, precise and synchronized listing, balanced nutrition, etc. 

Meal planning is useful and cost-effective as it accurately describes the number of ingredients which helps to get it in a particular quantity. So, it will not overload the inventory with excessive quantity and ingredients, eventually reducing food wastage. 

Market Size Of Meal Planning App

After the pandemic phase of 2020, people have become more serious about their meals. Meal planning app has gained global popularity among healthcare applications among all nutrition apps. 

Digital economies have boosted with a massive ratio of meal planning apps as people are conscious of adopting meals.

Currently, the overall valuation of meal planning apps is increasing with a CAGR of 21.40 percent, with a valuation of USD 2,187.63 million last year. 


Smartphones have also increased the use of meal planning apps that manage health and nutrition care. Certain medical and nutritional care specialists prefer the support of meal planning apps for advising nutritionally balanced meals.

The overall market value of meal planning apps is projected to reach $ 15,017.42 million in upcoming years.

Benefits Of The Meal Planning App

People are highly curious about the advantages of the meal planning application. The growing ratio of meal planning apps and constant downloads have enabled the customized approach for meals according to diet preference, nutritional value, and preparation-friendly meals. Below are some of the benefits of the meal planning app discussed. Let us have a look: 

1. Precisely Planned Meals

With the meal planning app, you can get the planned meals at your fingertips with precise nutrients and portions according to your health and preference. It provides information about upcoming meals from anywhere with easy login. 

2. Monitoring Your Goals

With the help of a meal planning app, you can easily monitor your progress to reach your goal. With the customized arrangement of meals according to your fitness goals and diet preferences, you can look forward to gaining or losing weight, muscles, etc. Meal planning apps synchronize the meals according to the requirement with ample nutrients and essential elements. 

3. Add Your Meals or Skip by Choice

In the meal planning app, you can easily add your recipes with creative ideas and photographs of your meals. In certain situations, if you get to skip any meal due to unplanned dinners or lunch. In such a situation, on the meal planning apps, you can skip the meals and jump to another one with just one click. 

4. Grocery Shopping

Meal planning apps are highly beneficial for grocery shopping. You can easily set up the list according to the days they need the items. In the app, you can select the days, and the grocery list will update with the precise amount of ingredients according to the set recipes on particular days. 

5. Unfold the New Recipes

On the meal planning app, you can easily try and learn new recipes with healthy preparation. Certainly, you can also improvise them according to your need and preference. Meal planning apps help you to try out your creativity with essential health factors and tasteful new flavors. 

What Features Make a Meal Planning App Useful?

Healthcare, nutrition, and diet industries have crossed a novel benchmark after the Covid-19 phase.

According to the reports, 36 percent of individuals in the US prefer home-cooked food with simple preparation suggested by meal planning apps.

Hence, the app development team must provide customized key features. Below are some of the key features of the meal planning app are mentioned:

1. Recipe Collection

Modern tech food apps must have this feature as attractive and creative, which allures the user. The app should have creative yet simple and flavorful recipes with healthy and easily available ingredients. Hence, the recipe must be created according to the user’s location, diet preference, and flavor. 

2. Weekly Meal Planning

These features help in many ways, as users can set the meals for the upcoming week and maintain a hassle-free cooking experience. It also helps to avoid the constant analysis of set meals and provides agile accessibility for any updates or improvisation. 

3. Offline Accessibility

Modern food tech apps are not just about diets and nutrition. Providing offline accessible features is becoming the basic necessity in meal planning apps. The offline accessibility provides access to a saved collection of recipes. Offline accessibility will help the users while traveling or when the internet is unavailable. 

Must Have Features of Meal Planning Mobile App

App CategoryCustomer FeatureSuper Admin Features
App FeaturesRegistrationAllow Login
Create a Favourite listManage Users
Search / View RecipesManage Subscription Packages
Publish RecipeManage Loyalty Points
Create Recipes ListManage Statistics
Add/Plan MealManage Recipes
Add/Edit Grocery listManage Payment Gateways
Food InventoryManage Users Inventory
Rewards and RatingsManage Notifications/ Remainders
Notifications/RemindersProvide Chat and Email support
SettingsManage Rewards and Ratings
Social Media SharingManage Social Media Sharing
Log outManage CMS pages
Cost to develop a Meal Planner app like Food Planner10k to 32k USD (For android, iOS) + Web Admin

Additional Features of Meal Planning Mobile App

Quick search and preview nutrient function
Preview of reports on the nutrient breakdown
Custom Feature to modify and compare meals with the set goals.

Innovative Features of Meal Planning Mobile App

Food Listing: Include any proteins or carbohydrates that a vegetable or fruit contains. As a result, there will be a long list of items from which to choose what to eat and what to buy for a well-balanced diet.

Meal Planning: The app should allow the user to create a personalised food plan based on their dietary requirements at any time of day.

Progress Graph: The application should include a progress graph that shows users how far they have progressed in their diet plan journey and if they are on track with their goals.

Monetization Strategies of Meal Planning App

Meal planning app covers the massive global market with massive valuation and user interest. According to recent statistics, the digital nutrition market is estimated to reach $16.4 billion in upcoming years, which marked the overall valuation of $8.2 billion in past years. Due to this rapid growth and development, many startups and small businesses are turning toward nutrition and meal planning apps. Here are some of the good techniques to monetize the meal planning apps to empower the global market position and overall growth and development: 

1. In-App Advertisement

Advertisements are a major part of monetization as they are the prime source to connect with the user. In-app advertisement is the core source that multiplies the revenue with free app service. Certain advertisement methods like interstitial advertisement, native ads, banner ads, or video ads are the most popular choices for in-app advertisement. The most beneficial aspect of this strategy is that every click brings a certain amount of payment depending upon the choice of advertisement model. The key to using this strategy in a profitable way is that it should not impact the user experience, and the ads must be creative, crisp, and short. 

2. Freemium Model Or In-App Purchase

In the monetization model of meal planning apps freemium model is quite popular among users. Providing accessibility of basic features to the user is the standard facilitation of the freemium model. To use the advanced features and facilities users must pay the charges. This strategy is the most powerful working strategy of the healthcare and nutrition tech platform, attracting maximum traffic. 

3. Subscription Model

 This monetization model enables the recurring profits the user pays to use the advanced features of the meal planning app. It is considered part of in-app purchases beneficial for constant and continuous use of the app. 

4. Paid App Services Or Premium Model

This popular revenue-generating model charges a certain amount to download the meal planning app. To move forward with this model, the app must have extraordinary designs, smooth functionality, and advanced accessibility, which make the app stand out among a large number of competitive free apps. 

Top Ten Meal Planning Apps for iOS and android

1. Best Overall: Paprika

Paprika App

It is a popular meal planning app with an in-built recipe manager and menu planning features. This app uses advanced technology to organize recipes with the customized browser extension and compatible recipe tracking. Paprika customizes the grocery list according to the saved recipes according to your diet and taste preference. This app does not provide the nutritional data of the saved recipe. 

2. Best for Time-Crunched Cooks: Mealime


It is one of the best meal planning apps with user-friendly features and modern tech support. This app works with the best-rated recipes, which can be prepared within 40 minutes. The app synchronizes the recipes according to the health benefits and allergies. Most of the recipes and nutritional valuation of recipes are available in the premium version of the app, which is its major shortcoming. 

3. Best for Weight Loss: PlateJoy

PlateJoy app

It is the best-rated meal planning app that helps to reach weight loss goals with balanced nutrition and flavorful recipes. It is an attractive app with premium features and creative functions. The nutritional information is available in all the recipes with a customized healthy choice. The only limitation of this app is that it does not allow you to add a personalized recipe according to your choice. 

4. Runner-Up, Best for Weight Loss: Eat This Much

Eat This Much

It is one of the renowned meal planning apps with a calorie counter and expert analytical support for your body’s nutritional requirements. It has the recipe database with required nutrients and macronutrients, which is required according to your weight, health, and age. The free version of this app has limited access, which is the only drawback of this app.

5. Best for Social Media Fans: Prepear


Prepear is the best-rated meal planning app with an online and manual input database that includes preset recipes. All the recipes display a detailed nutritional breakdown which provides brief data on recipes, ingredients, and preparation. It is a user-friendly app with premium features and smooth functions. 

6. Best for Meal Preppers: MealPrepPro


MealPrepPro app is a multi-featured and flexible meal planning app available on iOS. It requires factual information about the diet preference according to the health requirement and issues of the user. Creative and simple recipes with nutritional descriptions and benefits are constantly added to the app.

7. Best for Using up Leftovers: Big Oven

Big Oven

The best meal planning app provides free recipes and creative ideas to consume the leftovers. This application has more than 1,000,000 recipe suggestions with an easy uploading facility of clipping tools within the app. It has a special leftover feature with a customized grocery list which enables adding ingredients other than the recipes. 

8. Best for Shopping on A Budget: Meal Board

Meal Board

This meal planning app has plenty of customized and technology-driven features, including meal planning according to health concerns and taste preferences, recipe storage, and tracking the inventory according to the listed recipes. The app has high compatibility with the sync facility for two devices, and the app can also be used from the web app. 

9. Best for Vegetarians: Forks Over Knives

Forks Over Knives

This meal planning app is the best platform for vegan and vegetarian-friendly users. It provides the best omnivorous meals with plant-based diet preferences. This app primarily focuses on vegan and plant-based recipes with easy and quick preparations. Its expensive subscription and limited grocery listing support are the major shortcomings of this app. 

10. Best for Tracking Nutrients: Lose It! 

Lose It! 

Lose is one of the best and most popular weight loss apps that plan meals and track according to the body’s measurement and weight. It tracks your food, weight, the number of nutrients and macronutrients, and body water intake. The calorie count is not precise, which is only a major limitation of this app. 

Team Required to Develop Meal Planning App

Building a scalable and sustainable meal planning app requires expert and experienced team support with all the descriptive details and global market information. Below is the description of the team which helps to develop the flexible and futuristic meal planning app: 

  • Research: The research team analyses the market according to the client’s idea and current market trends, which are profitable on the global platform. All the data and information collected by the research team helped to build the estimated blueprint of the meal planning app. 
  • Design: The designing team creates the screen (UX/UI) design and the app’s wireframes, which determines the app’s final appearance. 
  • Development: The development team implements the designs with the backend and front-end development with advanced APIs and database managers. The overall development simultaneously manages the app and user data collectively. 
  • QA Testing: The testing team tests the app’s run quality with the possible bugs and errors that can impact the app’s quality and functionality. The testing team fixes these errors and tests the run quality on multiple platforms. 
  • Deployment: The deployment team manages to deploy the app on several platforms, and the server details are provided to the client for future reference. 
  • Marketing: The marketing team helps to promote the app on the nutrition, healthcare, and fitness platform. It will help to get the maximum attention of a large user base and invite massive traffic to explore the app’s features and functions. 

The Steps to Create a Meal Plan App

1. Define The Project Scope

This project scope of the app requires documented details such as meal planning, recipe management, and other aspects to streamline the app’s functions. In this stage, the non-functionals details such as app performance, scalability, and maintenance also need prior documentation for future reference. 

To build a consumer-friendly app, it is necessary to streamline platforms like iOS, Android, etc., and launch the minimum viable product to analyze the market performance. The free and paid version must be categorized according to their features, accessibility, and charges. 

2. Choose a Suitable Software Architecture Pattern

A potent software architecture pattern can be helpful for the efficient functioning of the meal planning app. It enables the app to perform with enhanced performance, advanced scalability, and reliability with customized maintenance. The choice of software architecture must be according to the requirement. mobile app development requires clean architecture, and microservice architecture helps to build the different core services. 

3. Decide Whether You Will Offer Native Mobile Apps or Hybrid Apps

Choosing the native or hybrid apps for the best user experience, with high-end security features and top-notch performance is quite tricky for meal planning apps. Native iOS and android apps offer the best security feature with cutting -edge app performance on a practical platform. 

To build the cost-effective app you can choose the hybrid app development which has low maintenance and app development cost. Choosing the accurate programming language according to the app functionality can improve the performance and run quality of the app. 

4. Choose a Cloud Platform

The cloud platform provides the advanced expedition for the software development program of the meal planning app. Certain MCSPs (Managed Cloud Services Providers) manage the cloud management with the support of Google Cloud Platform, MS Azure, and AWS. The cloud platform, PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), manages the runtime environment, operating system, cloud infrastructure, and middleware functioning. 

On the other hand, IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) only manages the cloud infrastructure. MBaaS (Mobile-Backend-as-a-Service) provides huge backend storage with handling the cloud infrastructure. It simplifies the backend management of the software.

5. Find the Suitable Technology Stack

Using a suitable and compatible technology stack can upgrade the performance of the meal planning app to the next level. Below is the description of the technology stack which can be used according to the requirements: 

  • NoSQL Databases: Choose among MongoDB and Apache Cassandra
  • Native Android Development: Kotlin and Java are both feature-rich languages.
  • Web App Backend Development: Node.js is the most preferred platform. This open-source runtime JavaScript environment helps you develop scalable and performant web apps.
  • RDBMSs (Relational Database Management Systems): Use either MySQL or PostgreSQL. Both are renowned open-source SQL databases.
  • Native iOS development: Swift and Objective-C are the best choices, and Apple uses Swift.
  • Web App Front-End Development: JavaScript-based web frameworks like AngularJS or ReactJS.

6. Plan To Secure Your App

Security is the primary factor that needs high-end management of the payment information and user details. Below is the description which needs secure access for the information: 

  • Digital signature
  • Cloud platform security
  • Securing APIs through encryption, quotas, throttles, and gateways.
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  • Modifying prominent application security risks such as injection, broken authentication, etc.
  • Encrypted data-at-rest and in-transit
  • Antivirus and firewalls

7. Hire a Software Development Team

Hiring the software development team will build a well-researched, user-friendly, futuristic meal planning app with advanced technology and intuitive features. Below are the details and tasks which need an expert and experienced software development team: 

  • UI (user interface) designers
  • Web developers
  • Mobile developers
  • Testing experts 
  • DevOps engineers

8. Project Execution and Management: Development, Testing, and Deployment

Project execution and management is an important stage in meal planning app development. Constant monitoring and accurate control for certain procedures and highly required in meal planning apps. Below are the details: 

  • Technical solutions design
  • UI design
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Deployment, with submission and launch to app stores
  • Post-deployment assistance

9. Explore The App

1. Home Screen

The home screen must be attractive with an aesthetic pattern and trendy colors designed with minimalistic informative patterns. A large button with small and clear text will drive the user to explore more in the app. 

2. Search Screen

It provides straight results according to user search in the app. The search requires a few alphabets or a line to search the recipes or other details. 

3. Cuisines Screen

The user can choose the particular cuisine according to which the app will suggest the recipes. 

4. Nutrition Screen

On this window, the user can get descriptive information about the nutritional value of each ingredient in a specific recipe.

5. BMR Calculator

This helps to calculate the BMI according to the weightage and height of the user and thus suggest the recipe according to the requirement. 

Cost For Developing Meal Planning iOS & Android App

The digital healthcare market is gaining global recognition and popularity among users. After the pandemic phase, healthcare and nutrition-based apps have gained frequent downloads and collected maximum revenue. According to the reports, the digital healthcare market is estimated to cross 200 million USD in the upcoming years. The average cost to build the meal planning app is $52,500. The total cost depends upon the app’s features, technology, and inbuilt function. The minimum development cost is $30,000, and the maximum is $75,000


Technology advancement highly influences the current healthcare and nutrition industry. The rapid growth and performance of the meal planning apps on the global platform define the sustainable approach for substantial performance with a futuristic approach to upgrade the healthcare and nutrition industry. Hence, the meal planning app’s modern technology interface has upgraded the user experience and consciousness with simplifying recipes, accurate nutritional value, and hassle-free preparation. These are the brief details for the meal planning apps with all the features and functions. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Meal Planning App Development

  1. Is code review skill important when developing a meal plan app?

    Yes, it is because the meal planning app has plenty of personal details of users who are under the direct target of hackers. Hence, code review skill is important to prevent security breach and fraudulent access. 

  2. Can Emizentech offer experienced web developers for meal planner app development?

    Emizentech offers an experienced team of web developers with a massive range of modern technologies. Our developers have core experiences with some renowned brands and projects for building consumer-friendly, performance-driven and scalable apps. 

  3. Can Emizentech provide a complete development team and not just a programmer? 

    Emizentech supports you with a complete app development team and individual expert app developers with advanced flexibility and approach to build the app according to the client’s requirement. 

  4. What is a meal planner app for the food sector?

    A meal planning app allows users to plan and customize their meals according to their health conditions, food preferences, and flavors. From the perspective of the food sector, it enables the user to access the technology-friendly interface to plan their meal with selected recipes and customized functions. 

  5. How long does it take to build a meal planner app for the food sector?

    The meal planning app takes an average of 700 hours to build and program. The building hours can take a minimum of 300 hours and a maximum of 1000 hours, depending on the complexity and technology stack.

  6. How to successfully grow your meal planner app for the food sector?

    For the successful growth of the meal planner app, it requires plenty of easy recipes with multiple cuisines, an intuitive UI interface, simplified and attractive features with competitive prices, and real-time tracking. 

  7. What are Risks and challenges of building a meal planner app for the food sector?

    The major risk in building the meal planning app is the safe preparation of food according to FDA and WHO standards. Although the app provides the complete nutritional breakdown, recipe information, and safety measures from the customer’s perspective, the recipe can be a challenge sometimes. 

  8. What are the five Principles of meal planning?

    The five major principles of meal planning are:
    >> Sufficiency
    >> Stability
    >> Diversity
    >> Control
    >> Nutritious

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CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.