How Much Does It Cost To Create A Diet and Nutrition App?

In the age of technology, one of the most popular categories of mobile apps is those in the health sector, with diet and nutrition apps gaining traction each year. With a CAGR of 21.40%, the market is expected to reach around $15 million by 2029.

This means that developing a nutrition app is pretty attractive, but how much does it cost? It’s hard to say, but we can break down the process to get an estimate. You’ll need at least $40,000 to $50,000 for a relatively simple interface for a rough idea.

But seeing as the mHealth revenue is projected to be around $105.9 billion by 2030, it’s still a lucrative business idea as long as you do it right.

Laying Out a Blueprint

Since COVID, the mobile healthcare development industry has experienced an even bigger boom than in the last few years. Several people started tracking their diets, with around 26% of young adults using an app regularly in 2017.

So first, you’ll need to lay the groundwork to decide what the app will be focused on:

  • Target audience: Who is the app geared towards? A niche or all age groups?
  • UX: How will you ensure the app is accessible to your audience?
  • Competition: Why should people choose you over the numerous other apps on the market?

What are the Must-Have MVP Features?

After laying out the basics, you need to figure out the app’s features, each of which will impact development costs.


Every app needs to create an account to get started, but diet and nutrition apps also use this to get important information about the user.

They’ll need to enter their weight, height, and gender. Apps also usually ask for fitness or activity level to calculate BMI and create a basic diet plan according to the user’s goals.

Calorie Counter or Food Logger

Every nutrition app needs a dashboard where users can either search for food and add it to their meal or log it manually to ensure they’re counting every calorie.

The more diverse the options, the wider range of users you can attract. Especially if your app is geared towards a global market, it’s a good idea to arrange for food calorie levels from different cultures.

Besides that, a chart that helps users estimate calories in something, not in the app is also helpful.

Fitness and Activity Log

Next, the third most important feature is a fitness diary where users can add their daily exercise time. Again, the feature needs to be optimized for user ease with options for manual insertion or pre-prepared workouts.

While fitness apps occupy a whole niche, a basic activity logger will ensure you retain customers because they can have everything they need in one place.

Progress Reports

One of the most important aspects of a diet and nutrition app is the progress reports. These need to be easy to understand and shown engagingly.

Most apps use graphs to show calorie intake, calories burned, total exercise time, etc. The important part is to make them accessible and attractive; an example is the water intake app ‘Plant Nanny,’ which lets you grow plants as you drink water.

Adding a feature that lets people share their achievements on social media, like a Tweet option, is also a good idea.

Push Notifications

It’s important to have an effective plan to interact with the user to increase retention rates. Virtual Assistance is an increasingly popular concept, and your app needs to be geared to send out messages for all features at regular intervals.

Connectivity With Wearables

Many people use Apple Watches, Fitbits, and other wearables, so ensuring the app is compatible with them plays a big part in its success.

People want ease and convenience and will go for an app that lets them track their activity from anywhere rather than having to have their phones on them.

Customer Support by Professionals

While many apps use this as a paid feature, another increasingly popular feature is live chats or advice from industry professionals like nutritionists and fitness trainers. High-budget apps even have contracts with particular people.

It’s a good idea to partner with a fitness center or, at the very least, get your app’s basic diet plans for different people.

Other Suggestions

First, you can add a feature where a nutritionist personalized a diet plan for your users for a small fee. This increases the reliability of the app.

Other than that, listing top professionals in major cities, providing simple recipes, and having a barcode scanner is also a good idea. You can also give them grocery list suggestions.

Finally, investing in a hybrid app available on both IOS and Android is best suited for today’s market.

Standing Out Among Competitors

Nothing is easy money. Keep in mind that there are around 52,565 mHealth apps on Google Play Store alone. What will make users download yours over all the other options?

This is another category you need to consider, starting with the design. Remember that the interface needs to be convenient and have a set aesthetic. Colors and the logo also affect whether your app is the one someone will click on.

Final Cost Estimate

You’ll need to have an entire team of developers, with at least:

  • Project Manager
  • UI Designer
  • Frontend and Backend Developers
  • App Testers

The hourly cost in the US varies from around $100 to $250, and it’s a good idea to hire top-notch talent to ensure quality.

The basic backend development takes around 300 hours, with a simple app taking around 2-3 months to develop. A more complex interface takes around a year to properly plan, with the entire process reaching over $300,000 for a top-notch app.

Remember that this is for the entire process, including an MVP and the second stage.

Owlab is a custom software development company. We have experience in various niches, including fintech, blockchain, retail, and healthcare. We can provide high-class services for any software development project, so contact us for a plan customized just for you. 

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