Diet and Nutrition App Development: The Complete Guide

We have tried at least one diet and nutrition app after gaining a few extra pounds. Though some of us may still be struggling with keeping up with the strict diet routine the app has to offer, the usage of such apps hasn’t dropped. The statistics say that the user penetration for diet and nutrition apps is expected to be 4.40 percent in 2024, and is anticipated to hit 5.15 percent by 2028.

With a range of nutrition or fitness apps in the market, how to ensure that you’ve created the best application? To build an outstanding diet and nutrition app, it’s essential to understand what the users want and what you can do to create one. This article pinpoints all the key aspects developers need to know to build a diet and nutrition app.

Table of Contents:

  1. Diet and nutrition apps market overview
  2. Classification of diet and nutrition apps
  3. Features of diet and nutrition app
  4. Tech stack
  5. Diet and nutrition app development process
  6. Cost of diet and nutrition app development

Diet and Nutrition Apps: Market Overview

Diet and nutrition apps are growing in popularity due to an increase in awareness of leading a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, a surge in the purchase of healthy foods by users is fueling market expansion. A lot of people are turning towards online fitness classes due to the availability of stable network connections, thereby driving the diet and nutrition app market growth. Social media may also be playing a role in market expansion as celebrities, athletes, and influencers are constantly uploading their diet and nutrition hacks, thus compelling users to try them as well.

Apart from this, the high cost offered by diet and nutrition apps is likely to hamper the market growth, also users may prefer a real-life activity session over a virtual one.

Here are some of the latest statistics to note about the diet and nutrition app market:

  1. The U.S. diet and nutrition app market was valued at $2,187.63 million in 2021 and is anticipated to reach $15,017.42 million by 2029, garnering a CAGR of 21.40 percent during the 2022 to 2029 forecast period. (Source: Data Bridge Market Research)
  2. Nutrition app revenue is expected to grow to $5.40 billion in 2024. (Source: Statista)
  3. In global comparison a majority of the nutrition app revenue will be generated in India: $1,581.00 million in 2024. (Source: Statista)
  4. The average revenue of nutrition apps per user is predicted to amount to $40.69. (Source: Statista)
  5. The nutrition apps market volume is anticipated to be $8.29 billion by 2028. (Source: Statista)

To sum up, the market for nutrition apps is growing rapidly, driven by the growing customer demand for personalized nutrition advice and the ease of tracking and managing one’s nutrition. Key trends in the market include the integration of AI & machine learning technology and the emphasis on community & social features.

Local peculiarities, such as cultural & dietary factors, also play a role in developing and using nutrition apps. However, overall, the growth in the nutrition apps market can be attributed to rising incomes, growing health awareness, and widespread access to smartphones and Internet.

Types of Diet and Nutrition Apps

Let’s start by understanding each type of diet and nutrition app with examples.

1. Nutrition Tracking App

Nutrition tracking app enables users to eat healthily, keep their calories in check, and control eating habits. It also offers tips and tricks to manage daily nutrition intake.

Example: MyFitnessPal is ranked as the best food-tracking app. It holds an enormous food database, barcode scanner, recipe importer, restaurant logger, calorie counter, and more. This app makes it easy to track nutrition and control eating habits.

2. Activity Tracking App

If you’re looking to lose weight, then try using activity-tracking apps. They help you to stay in shape by offering fitness regimes and tracking daily fitness goals.

Example: A widely used one is Google Fit, it tracks exercises, and offers real-time stats on walks, runs, bike rides, etc. It also offers points for completing the workout.

3. Wager Apps

Such apps push users to bet on attaining their weight goals within a timeframe. This type of gamified approach focuses on giving users incentives to follow through with their promises.

Example: Healthy Wage offers weight loss competitions and fitness challenges with cash prizes.

4. Calorie Counting and Detox App

When it comes to nutrition and diet regulation, counting calories is a must. Humans require around 2000 to 3000 calories daily, anything beyond that results in weight gain. Calorie counting and detox apps track calorie intake and enable detox by ensuring the gut gets only healthy food.

Example: Apps like Lose It! comes with a personalized food diary and recommendations for calories intake.

Top Features of Diet and Nutrition Apps

1. Registration/Sign-in

Every diet and nutrition app starts with a sign-in process followed by a list of questionnaire to understand user preferences. List of questions can be general information to formulate the best fitness and nutrition goal for the users. Sign-in process includes:

  1. E-mail ID
  2. Demographics
  3. Daily calorie intake
  4. Allergies
  5. Goals
  6. Current and desired weight
  7. Food preferences

The registration process can also include an induction video explaining on how to go about using the application in the best possible way.

2. Diet or Individual Meal Plans

Diet or individual meal plans are made as per the data input by the user during the registration process. Meal plans should be such that the user is not bored of it, must be interesting and tasty to eat. The app can include multiple healthy recipes under meal plans, which change on weekly basis.

3. Diet Tips

This feature provides additional ways in which a user can alter his/her diet plans. It may also contain specialized diets for those suffering from chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, or heart diseases. It may also include diet tips for patients who have come out of complex surgeries or long chronic illness.

4. Calorie Counter

Calorie counters will allow users to set daily calorie targets based on their age, gender, body weight, height, activity level, etc. Once users’ target is set, they can start tracking their daily calorie intake. To track calorie intake, users need to enter all the foods and drinks consumed into the calorie counter. Users can search for the food or drinks in the calorie counter’s database.

Once users enter the food or drink they want to track, the calorie counter will calculate how many calories are consumed that day. After each day, users can review their calorie intake and see how many calories they’ve consumed compared to their daily calorie target.

5. Food Diary/Food Log

The main goal of a diet and nutrition app development is to keep a track on what’s being ingested. A food log or a food diary is equipped with a food dictionary and calorie data book. Sometimes, users may find it hard to log everything that goes in the stomach, so it can be made fun and interesting with a pictures and emojis.

6. Photos

Capture pictures of prepared meals in a fun way to keep things interesting, you can also post it on social media platforms and explain the recipe to your followers. Thus, indirectly not only bolstering the market value of an app but also meal plans.

7. Barcode Scanner

Barcode scanners allow users to quickly and accurately determine the nutritional value of the packaged foods they eat, saving them time and effort when entering this information manually.

8. Dashboard

The dashboard is the very heart of the diet and nutrition app cause that’s where all the progress is viewed. Analysis of the daily/weekly/monthly food intake is calculated and showcased here in the form of graphs. Based on this analysis, users can make alterations in their diet going forward. It also has a menu section for switching between multiple features.

9. Drinking Water Tracker

Experts recommend to drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday to keep our body hydrated. With a busy schedule, we often forget to keep a track of how much water is consumed. So, with a drinking water tracker, users can keep their body hydrated.

10. Fitness Tracker

This an additional feature in the diet and nutrition apps. Along with nutrition intake, it is also essential to maintain a robust fitness routine that will help to attain a fit and healthy body. Fitness tracker captures activities, sleep, heart rate, among other things.

11. Recipes

Another feature could be the ability to add links to your favorite recipes and automatically find and record the ingredients in those recipes. The app can also have an in-built recipe book. The recipe book in the app could be a great addition to your existing meal planning app.

The diet app can give you step by step voice instructions while you’re in the middle of cooking. If you’re cooking at a fast pace, you can ask the app to repeat commands without getting your device dirty.

12. Notifications

Now here’s the part which will keep the users on their toes and on track of their diet routine. Here, users can have an option of either push notifications or e-mail notifications. Notifications remind users of their upcoming meals, grocery shopping, analysis, diet tips, new recipes, and more.

13. Calendar

Calendar is a great way to maintain weekly and monthly goals at a time. It also helps to plan cheat meals and also maintain diet routine each day without fail.

14. Blogs

Blogs are a source of free value-added content for the users. They can contain latest news on nutrition, statistics, fun tips and hacks, nutrition benefits, or ways to live a healthy lifestyle. Blogs may not be one of the core features to have, but they certainly uplift the quality of diet and nutrition application.

15. Grocery Shopping List

For a healthy diet everyone needs a strict grocery shopping list, so this feature fits the bill perfectly. Also, integrating this feature with an online grocery shopping site/app can allow users to directly place orders and have food items delivered within minutes.

16. Community Link

Having a community of like minded people motivates us to do better each day. It pushes us to achieve our goals and the dream body that we aspire. Seeing what other people are doing and getting results keeps us on our toes. Users can also add their friends or family members who are using the same app and achieve goals together.

17. Social Sharing

People love bragging about their fitness achievements on social media platforms. So, including a share option can market the application, and also keep it ahead of the competition. Consider including awards and recognitions on completing goals, for instance medals and badges. It keep things interesting.

18. Help Desk

Have a ‘?’ icon somewhere in the top left or right corner of the diet and nutrition app. In case of query or customer service support, users can simply go to the icon and fill in their issue and get it solved right away. The help desk can also include tutorial videos on how to use each feature.

19. Health Goals

Health goals are specified during the registration process and they can be altered over the course of time. Diet and fitness plans are based on these health goals. For example, a user wishes to lose 10 kilograms of weight, then the meal plans may include more of protein and less of carb diet for gaining lean muscles and burning fat.

Tech Stack for Diet and Nutrition App Development

Here’s a list of every tech you need to get the mobile app development process started.

Role/Functions Tech Stack
Front-End Swift, JavaScript with VueJS and ReactJS, Angular, Java, Flutter, Kotlin
Back-End Flask, Node.js, Python, Express.js, Django
Real-Time Analytics Spark, Hadoop, Bigdata, Cisco, Apache Flink, IBM
Databases MongoDB, PostgreSQL
Push Notifications, Twilio
Location Tracking Google Map, MapKit Framework
APIs and Integrations Google Fit, Nutritionix, Apple HealthKit
Payment Process Stripe, EWallets, PayPal
Operating System Debian
Data Management Datastax
Cloud Google Cloud, AWS
Social Login Google, Facebook, Instagram, X, LinkedIn
Voice, SMS, and Phone Verification Nexmo, Twilio
Emails Mandrill

Diet and Nutrition App Development Process

1. Discovery Phase

This phase starts with understanding the product or app. Compiling and analyzing diet and nutrition app market trends, user preferences, and what problems can be solved. Business analysts gather all the relevant market information and pass it on to the designers and developers for building the application.

The market research also comprises analyzing competitors strategy as it gives an idea about what can and cannot work, and what’s the USP for you. It also guides on drawing out a budget plan for the entire diet and nutrition app development project, including hidden expenses. If there’s a need to hire resources for the project then that also can be planned at this stage.

Apart from this, you can also consider outsourcing or partnering with a healthcare software development company with relevant experience to build the product for you. Experts have in-depth knowledge of the field, hence they can be an ideal choice for diet and nutrition app development.

2. Prototyping and Design

Prototyping is a version that exists only in design stage and no coding is involved. It gives a reality check of the application – how it will work, loopholes if any, and much more. Prototyping is also a chance to improve on the diet and nutrition app based on the user feedback. The app can be tried and tested before giving it the finishing touch. Development is an expensive process, and prototyping is a way to curb unnecessary expenses during later stages of the development.

Moving on to the designing aspect, UX/UI designers are responsible to create the overall look and feel of the application. It’s what will attract the users to your diet and nutrition app. So, choice of components such as color, fonts, menu, navigation, aesthetics, and more matter when it comes to designing.

P.S. From observation. for a diet and nutrition app, a three color palette consisting of pastel colors work the best.

3. Diet and Nutrition App Development

Once prototypes and designs are a go, now it’s time for some coding. Mobile app development involves multiple steps and here are few essential ones to note.

Back-End Development: Back-end is where all the behind-the-scenes components reside. A back-end developer builds and maintains apps, write high-quality codes, perform QA, troubleshoot, and debug. Some of the tools used for back-end development are Apache, Java, C#, Ruby on Rails, Node.js, etc.

Front-End Development: The role of a front-end developer is to ensure that users easily interact with the diet and nutrition app. This is done through a combination of technology, design, and programming code. Front-end developer also fixes bugs and tests the application for usability.

HIPAA Compliance: This is one of the essential aspects of any healthcare app that involves patient information. If your diet and nutrition application stores critical user data such as medical history, demographics, and contact details, then make the app HIPAA compliant. This standard ensures privacy and security of healthcare data.

Integrations: To make the diet and nutrition app more valuable to users, consider integrations with wearables, smart devices, native mobile OS features, and third-party services. Some of the common devices that can be linked with the app are Siri, Samsung Health, Google Fit, and HealthKit (iOS). Diet and nutrition app development may include options for connecting with food delivery apps as well.

4. Testing

Everyone loves a glitch-free software, but testing applications can be a cumbersome job. There are so many components to consider, from platform compatibility and screen sizes to OS versions. QA testing experts run the application through numerous tests (automated and manual) to catch errors. Testing can be included during the diet and nutrition app development cycle as well to avoid big changes at the end.

5. Release and Maintenance

The most exciting past of the entire process is to release the product in the market, getting the app approved by the stores. The application is now available to the users. But, hold on, this doesn’t end here. After its release to the public, it’s necessary to track a few essential aspects and to keep updating the app. App maintenance is necessary to keep up with the competition and keep it bug free.

Cost of Diet and Nutrition App Development

The cost of diet and nutrition app development varies based on aspects such as features, functionality, developers, outsourcing, technology, design of the app, and operations. On an average the cost of diet and nutrition app development is around $43,000 to $90,000. To get an cost estimate on app development it’s best to contact the software development company. They can breakdown the costs and include hidden expenses if any.

If you’re looking for a mobile app development company to build your diet and nutrition app, then connect with Arkenea, a healthcare software development company with over 13 years of experience in the field. We build world-class applications that match industry standards and fulfill your requirements.