Development of NutriTrack Diet planner app

Updated on:
19.06.2024
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10 min

In the world where healthy food apps appear and disappear faster than you can say "calories," creating a successful product is not just a task but a real challenge.

So how do you break through the noise and create a worthwhile service that captures the hearts and minds of users? In this article, we reveal the secrets of the NutriTrack Diet Planner app, which has become not just a tool but a loyal companion on the path to health and fitness for over 50,000 people (just 1.5 months after its release).

From the initial ideas to the finished product capable of transforming lives, we unveil the secrets of successful development, share valuable insights, and show why now is the perfect time to invest in this growing market.

Numbers, Facts, and a Bit of Personal Opinion

A significant "boom" in the popularity of fitness apps happened in the post-COVID era, with the number of downloads increasing by 46% in one year (ReportLinker). Users realized that to take care of their health, maintain a proper diet and exercise regimen, and receive motivation, it is not necessary to hire a trainer, coach, or nutritionist.

Modern technologies and the implementation of artificial intelligence have only reinforced this experience. Personalized recommendations, interactive workouts, and motivational tools have made apps more effective, accessible, and engaging than working “live” with a specialist.

It is expected that by the end of 2029, the mobile healthcare market will reach 236,214.86 million USD, with an average annual growth rate of 24.57% (according to Mordor Intelligence™ Industry Reports).

In our view, there are several key factors explaining this phenomenon:

  1. Proper nutrition is no longer just a trend associated with high social status or a successful lifestyle. It has become a widely accepted norm.
  2. People are no longer perceiving health as merely the absence of illness but are striving for active daily monitoring of their well-being.
  3. Obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases have reached alarming proportions, prompting people to seek solutions and approach prevention more diligently.
  4. Exercising has become a healthy habit leading to longevity, rather than a means to build muscle for attracting the opposite sex or posting attractive photos on social media.

Before starting work on NutriTrack, we conducted a small survey among Wezom employees. It turned out that more than 50% of our corporate family prefer mobile apps over consultations with dietitians and nutritionists.

  • "I had an unpleasant experience. I wanted to lose weight, and the nutritionist suggested a smoothie detox. After a few days, I felt weak and dizzy, but the 'specialist' assured me that this was a normal reaction of the body to 'cleansing.' In the second week of the diet, I fainted at work. The doctors diagnosed severe dehydration, vitamin deficiency, and the onset of ketoacidosis. That's how 'human factor' works."
  • "I love my healthy eating app for the ability to scan barcodes and immediately add the data to my daily intake of calories, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It's very convenient and allows me to treat myself to various snacks without harming my figure."
  • "What I appreciate most are the various social activities: participating in challenges and receiving support from other users is a much greater motivation for me than talking to a dietitian. Additionally, my app has features for stress management, meditation, and improving sleep, which contributes to a comprehensive approach to health."

The combination of growing interest in healthy lifestyles, technological innovations, and social factors creates ideal conditions for the diet and nutrition tracking mobile apps development. Developers and investors poised to capitalize on these trends have the opportunity to create sought-after and financially successful products, capturing their share of the market.

Competition and the key to success

You might have a valid question: "Is it worth considering this niche at all, given that there are already strong players in it?"

The answer is “yes” without any doubts, and here's why:

  • every day, new technological innovations emerge that your competitors have not yet implemented. Therefore, there will always be opportunities to offer something unique and interesting to your users. For instance, an AI-powered scanner for ready-made meals that calculates calories from a photo could be one such innovation.
  • eating apps have a very broad target audience, so each segment will have its own needs. Some prioritize having a water intake tracker in the service, others want more recipes, and yet others seek feedback. There's always room to tailor your offering to meet these diverse needs.
  • the key to success is creating a product that genuinely helps people change their lives. It's crucial to consider the needs of the audience and continuously improve the app so that it remains relevant and useful.

Competing among numerous diet apps can be achieved by offering unique and useful features that set your application apart from others. Personalization, integration with other devices, innovative technologies, social functions, gamification, and educational content can help attract and retain users.

Our experience

Before creating any products, we always conduct a thorough analysis of the market and competitors. Here's a brief summary of our findings that led us to start developing NutriTrack:

Application

User Base

Main Feature

Drawbacks

MyFitnessPal

200+ million

Extensive food database

Paid features, intrusive advertising

Lifesum

50+ million

Personalized meal plans

Limited and dull features in the free version

Yazio

10+ million

Integration with fitness apps and devices

Lack of localization and language support 

Lose It!

30+ million

Intuitive interface and barcode scanning

Multiple clicks needed to add multi-component meals

Cronometer

5+ million

Detailed micronutrient analysis

Complexity for beginners

As you can see, even giants and leaders have shortcomings that some users are unwilling to accept. This is exactly the idea that brought the customer NutriTrack to our studio. They tried several popular nutrition apps, but none satisfied them completely. Thus, the idea emerged to create a new solution that could surpass competitors' apps in terms of convenience and functionality.

Specifically, it should include:

  • ability to keep a food journal;
  • built-in scheduler;
  • analysis of habits and subsequent adjustment;
  • recipe catalog with filters based on dietary needs;
  • nutrient analysis (based on real-time logs);
  • personalized recommendations, akin to working one-on-one with a dietitian.

For example, the app notices that you really enjoy bananas and frequently use them as a snack. You might think there's nothing harmful about this fruit. However, bananas have a medium glycemic index (GI), meaning they can cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. This is particularly important for people with diabetes or insulin resistance. Overeating bananas can lead to an excess of certain nutrients, such as potassium, which can be problematic for people with kidney issues.

The app takes these factors into account and recommends that you consume bananas primarily as a way to replenish after workouts.

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Special features of diet planner app development

It’s time to confess that NutriTrack is a fictional name we use internally within the team due to project confidentiality under NDA. Nevertheless, in general terms, we will reveal some secrets, insights, and features. Let's do it chronologically, going through the main stages of developing such a product.

Idea and research

The client's main idea was to create a "personal dietitian in a smartphone", which became the core concept and slogan. We helped conduct market analysis, identify the target audience, and analyze competitors to expand the set of basic features. 

Specifically, we suggested adding notes about hunger levels and emotional state during meals. This tracker received very positive feedback from users later on, as it allowed them to approach eating more mindfully and identify harmful dependencies.

Design and Architecture

Preparation of a detailed technical specification, including descriptions of all functions, design, integrations, and technologies to be used, took us less than a week.

The team immediately decided that it would be a cross-platform application for Android and iOS. Such development was carried out using frameworks like Flutter and React Native. We also utilized Firebase, Node.js/Express – in our view, the best solution for custom backend services.

Special attention was devoted to UI/UX as crucial aspects for attracting and retaining users. In the context of diet and nutrition app development, it was particularly important to adhere to the following points:

  • simplicity -  from the moment the user opens the app, they should understand where to click and how everything works
  • adding products and dishes with minimal text input
  • pleasant modern interface with a fresh color scheme and clear icons
  • flexible settings tailored to personal needs and goals
  • convenient graphs, charts, and reports for tracking progress

Of course, all standards of mobile app design were adhered to: Material Design for Android and Human Interface Guidelines for iOS.

Another crucial aspect was the security of personal data and seamless authentication (in a matter of seconds). One of the best solutions in this regard is Firestore, a NoSQL database that offers developers flexibility and scalability.

Development

Everything was standard: an Agile team, working in sprints, with approvals at each stage. Typically, the main question at this stage becomes, "How much time will this take?"

The timeframe depends on the project's scale and the complexity of its functionality. A basic MVP with fundamental food monitoring features can be implemented in about 3 months. However, comprehensive diet and nutrition tracking app development may require a year or more. Fortunately, functionalities of such products can be released incrementally.

We developed NutriTrack in 6 months.

Integration of AI and gamification

Meanwhile, the development team is already preparing the first major update for the system. Soon, NutriTrack will feature a fully functional AI chatbot capable of providing users with live conversation-style consultations.

The app allows users to meticulously track their progress through a system of quests, achievements, and rewards. Additionally, with the help of AI, we've achieved maximum personalization.

The system takes into account:

  • personal data: age, gender, height, weight
  • goals: weight loss, weight maintenance, muscle gain
  • activity level: sedentary lifestyle, moderate activity, high activity
  • food preferences, possible allergies, and dietary restrictions (vegetarianism, gluten-free diet, etc.)

It synchronizes with devices to obtain data on physical activity and calories burned. It uses the Harris-Benedict formula to calculate the basal daily calorie requirement, as well as the optimal ratio of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

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Deployment and Launch

We quickly passed the approval process from the App Store and Google Play. Utilizing social media, SEO, content marketing, and paid advertising enabled us to attract over 50,000 users within 1.5 months.

Currently, regular updates are being conducted, bugs are being fixed, and performance is being improved. User feedback has been very positive, with an average rating of 4.9.

Conclusion: Is it profitable to create applications for food control?

There are various successful monetization models such as subscriptions, in-app purchases, and advertising, which allow developers to create sustainable and profitable businesses.

Let's put it this way: According to Statista, the average revenue per user (ARPU) for applications is around $40. Established apps have several million users each. It's simple math.

Everyone has their own understanding of "profitable figures." However, we believe that diet and nutrition tracking app development is an extremely promising and lucrative direction. Especially if you introduce a fresh idea, enhance it with new AI technologies, and choose a reliable professional team.

For example, we would gladly implement the following features for similar projects:

  • ability to scan products in your fridge or at the store using your smartphone camera, with intelligent recognition of nutritional information (calories, carbohydrates, fats, proteins per serving).
  • Creating recipes based on machine learning algorithms, utilizing available ingredients while considering dietary preferences and restrictions.
  • integration of augmented reality elements to visualize 3D models of prepared dishes in real environments. 
  • AI that adapts meal plans in real-time based on user activity, weight changes, and feedback. For instance, if a user increases their exercise routine, the AI suggests increasing calorie intake and protein content in their diet.
  • integration with smart kitchen appliances (such as scales and multicookers) for automatic tracking of consumed foods and portions.

If you have any additional questions or you would like to discuss specific features in more detail, please feel free to contact us right away. Our IT team not only has relevant experience but also a wealth of innovative ideas that we are ready to implement in your project. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Michael
Interested in a custom mobile solution?
Of course, this will require some financial investment from you at the beginning of the path to automation, but over time, this approach usually fully pays off. I can talk about it in detail.
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