How to Develop a Meal Planning App similar to Whisk

In today’s fast-paced world, it can be challenging to find the time to plan and prepare healthy meals. This is where meal planning apps like Whisk come in, offering a convenient solution to help users organize their meals and grocery shopping. 

According to the Statista market research, the revenue in the Nutrition Apps segment is projected to reach $4.96 billion in 2023 and is expected to show an annual growth rate of 11.28% resulting in projected market volume of US$ 7.60 billion by 2027. 

If you’re considering developing your own meal planning app similar to Whisk, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key features and functionalities of a successful meal planning app, along with the steps involved in creating one. Whether you’re an experienced app developer or just starting, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and resources you need to create a top-notch meal planning app like Whisk. So, let’s get started!

What is a Meal Plan App?

  • A meal plan app is a mobile application that is designed to assist or help users plan, track, and manage their daily meals to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. 
  • Meal Plan apps offer a wide array of features such as recipes, grocery lists, meal planning tools, calorie as well as macronutrient tracking, etc. 
  • Additionally, such apps also provide customizable plans based on users’ dietary preferences like vegan, gluten-free, or low-carb. 
  • Some apps also integrate fitness trackers and even exercise plans to help users accomplish their health goals. 

Key Features of a Meal Plan App 

Crucial Features of a Meal Plan App

An effective meal plan app should provide the following features and capabilities:

1. Nutritional information

Precise nutrition information can be an efficient tool in the meal plan app as it will help the users plan healthy meal preparations per their bodily needs.

2. Recipe database and recipe organizer

A recipe organizer is another essential feature of a meal plan app. It keeps track of new recipes, as apart from managing your recipes, you may need guidance for weight loss. For example, Users may want to know the percentage of carbs or saturated or unsaturated fats in their recipes.

3. Creating a grocery shopping list 

Users may need assistance creating a grocery list focusing on eating healthy. Some users might go to nearby grocery stores that sell healthy food items which they need. Several users require grocery delivery services, while some might be looking for pocket-friendly grocery shopping.

4. Planning aid to create weekly meal plans

Users and their family members may like and dislike food items. Thus, they must constantly balance their food preferences against their calorie goals and schedule meals accordingly. A capability to import recipes. Another essential tool for a meal plan app is that it should allow you to import recipes so users can cook healthy meals at home.

5. Reducing food wastage 

A meal planning app should assist users in minimizing food waste by offering guidelines on meal preparation.

6. Cost savings guidance 

The app should provide cost-saving suggestions to help users save money.

7. Useful content 

Relevant content, such as free meal-prepping tips and guides, should be provided to users to help them save time.

8. eCommerce features

The app should have eCommerce capabilities that include a shopping cart, online checkout, payment options, and barcode scanning functionality.

Best Meal Planning Apps of 2023

Top Meal Plan Apps of 2023

1. Whisk 

Whisk is a renowned meal-planning application that provides several essential features, including converting preferred recipes into shopping lists, sharing shopping lists and favorites with others, and assisting in making smarter food decisions like promoting healthier eating habits and weight loss. 

Users can also share their recipes on social media platforms through this app. Whisk’s menu offers three options, namely “Home Cooks,” “Creators,” and “Business.” The first option is for individual users, while the second option is for sharing recipes with fans and followers. 

The app has formed partnerships with various food brands, grocery stores, and publishers, and the third option caters to their needs. Whisk is available for download on the web, Android, and iOS platforms.

2. Mealime

Mealime is a meal-planning app that can be utilized on Android and iOS. Users can use Mealime for personalized meal planning. The app helps users in preparing grocery shopping lists. Additionally, it offers various recipes as well. 

3. Paprika

Paprika Recipe Manager is an application that helps users to organize their recipes. The app allows them to make meal plans and create grocery lists. One can also use its built-in browser to save recipes from the internet. The company offers iPhone/iPad, Mac, Android, and Windows apps. 

4. Pepperplate 

Another efficient app in the list of meal planning is Pepperplate. It helps users in gathering recipes from the internet. They can plan and create menus. Furthermore, the app allows users to share recipes and meal plans with friends, and it is available on Windows, Android, and Ios

5. Plan to Eat

Plan to Eat is another effective meal planner app that helps users collect recipes from the internet. You can organize and add recipes to your meal-planning calendar app. In addition to this, the app can create grocery shopping lists for users. It is available on Android and Ios.

6. Yummly 

Yummly is an application that can be used on the web, Android, and Ios. The app helps you to find and organize recipes, and you can find efficient content about meal planning and recipes.

7. Allrecipes

Allrecipes is a prominent meal-planning app that provides a vast collection of recipes. The app is available on Android and iOS app stores and can also be accessed via Kindle and Windows phones.

8. MealBoard 

The MealBoard app can be accessed through iPhones, iPads, and the web. The app offers the following features:

  • Meal Planning
  • Organize your recipes
  • Organizing your pantry 
  • Preparing your grocery lists 
  • Social media integration

9. Eat this Much 

Eat this much is another meal-planning app that helps you craft personalized meal plans. The app offers different diets, such as vegetarian, Paleo, Ketogenic, Gluten-free, etc. The app enables you to reduce food waste. It makes grocery lists for users and can be accessed via the web, Android, and iOS. 

10. Big Oven

BigOven allows you to search 500,000 recipes. Users can use it to organize recipes, and it helps them to plan a menu and create grocery lists. The app can be used on the web, Android, and iOS. 

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A Step-by-Step guide to Creating a Meal-Planning App

How to develop a meal planning app

1. Define the project scope

Determining the scope of your project involves the following steps:

  • The first step is to analyze and document the functional requirements such as meal planning, recipe management, etc.
  • Then, you must document the non-functional requirements such as performance, scalability, maintainability, etc.
  • Decide which features you will offer in the pro vs. the free version.
  • Decide on the apps to offer, like web, Android, or iOS. 

Now that you are building a consumer-facing app, utilizing Agile methodology that will need frequent improvements is essential. After this, it is time to launch an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), as it will help you gather market feedback, and you can make enhancements by using the feedback effectively.

2. Choose a suitable software architecture pattern. 

Choosing the right tech stack is the next integral step in the app development process, as it helps you to deliver functionality effectively. It makes your app reliable, scalable, permanent, and maintainable. 

You can select an architecture as per your core business goals. For example, you can go with the Microsoft architecture plan if you plan to build specific services, or you may go with the clean architecture plan for Android development.

3. Decide whether you will offer native mobile apps or hybrid apps.

Native Android or iOS apps provide the best user experience, performance, and security, and such apps utilize device-specific hardware features effectively. Hence, developers can make use of Java or Kotlin for native-app development. On the other hand, for native iOS development, Swift or Objective-C can be used.

Native mobile app development requires two separate apps, ultimately increasing software development and maintenance costs. 

Apart from this, you can develop a hybrid app to decrease the meal planning app cost for development and maintenance. However, you only have one code base app, and such apps cannot match the user experience and performance of native apps.

4. Select a Cloud Platform

The next step is to choose a cloud platform that offers an advanced expedition for developing your software project. Several MCSPs (Managed Cloud Services Providers) manage the cloud management with the support of Google Cloud Platform, MS Azure, and AWS. 

The runtime environment, operating system, cloud infrastructure, and middleware functioning are managed by the cloud platform, PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service).

Apart from this, IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) only takes care of the cloud infrastructure. MBaaS (Mobile-Backend-as-a-Service) offers massive backend storage with managing the cloud infrastructure, and it simplifies the backend management of the software. 

5. Find the right technology stack. 

Finding suitable technology tools for your software development project is equally essential as it can upgrade the performance of your meal planning app to the next level. Given below is the list of the technology stack that can be used as per your business goals and requirements:

  • NoSQL Databases: You can either go with MongoDB or Apache Cassandra.
  • Native Android Development: Kotlin and Java are both feature-rich languages
  • Web App Backend Development: Node.js is the most preferred platform. The open-source runtime JavaScript environment allows you to build scalable and performant web apps.
  • RDBMSs (Relational Database Management Systems): Use MySQL or PostgreSQL, as both are prominent open-source SQL databases. 
  • Native iOS development: Swift and Objective-C are effective choices, and Apple uses Swift 
  • Web App Front-End Development: JavaScript-based frameworks such as AngularJS and ReactJS. 

6. Plan to secure your app. 

Securing your application is one of the most integral steps of your software development project. Security needs high-end management of the payment information and user details. Focus on the following aspects to secure sensitive data:

  • Digital signature 
  • Cloud platform security 
  • We are 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. Get a software development team on board.

Hiring a skilled and suitable software development team will help you develop a well-researched, user-friendly, futuristic meal-planning app with advanced technology and intuitive features. Given below are the following professionals you will require in your 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 a crucial stage in meal planning app development. Persistent monitoring and accurate control for specific procedures are highly required in meal-planning apps. Given below are the details:

  • Technical solutions design 
  • UI design 
  • Development 
  • Testing 
  • Deployment, including submission to app stores
  • Post-deployment support

9. Explore the app

Home screen

Ensure that the home screen of your application is attractive with aesthetic patterns and various trendy colors designed with minimalistic informative patterns. Additionally, a large button with small, clear text will push the user to explore the app more. 

Search screen 

It offers straight results as per the user search in the app. The search provides a few alphabets or a line to search the recipes and other details. 

Cuisines screen 

Users can select a particular cuisine, and the app will suggest recipes.

Nutrition screen

On this panel, users can get descriptive information regarding the nutritional value of each ingredient in a specific recipe.

BMR Calculator 

It helps to calculate the BMI as per the weightage and height of the user and thus suggests the recipe as per the requirement. 

Cost of Developing a Meal Plan App

The cost of developing a meal planning app can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the complexity of the app’s features, the platform on which it will be developed, the development team’s location, and the time required to build the app. The average cost of building a meal-planning app is around $50K. The development cost ranges from $30K-$70K.

It’s important to note that ongoing maintenance and updates will also incur additional costs. Therefore, it’s essential to carefully consider the app’s development requirements and plan accordingly to ensure that it aligns with the budget and business goals.

Build a Team for Meal Planner App Project 

To start the development of a meal planner app, it is recommended to form a small group consisting of a project manager, a software architect, and a few business analysts. 

The team’s primary objective is to define the project’s scope, gather and finalize requirements, select a development approach, determine the technology stack, and plan the project. It is crucial to ensure that the project planning process covers all stages of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) and includes the following key elements:

  • Requirements, definition, and Management Design 
  • Development 
  • Testing 
  • Deployment 
  • Maintenance, which provides post-deployment support 


Building a meal-planning app like Whisk is undoubtedly a time-consuming and challenging task that requires meticulous planning, execution, and ongoing maintenance. However, if you’re planning to develop an app like Whisk and looking for a reliable and experienced team, Idea Usher is the right place for you.

With our extensive expertise and experience in building custom software solutions, we can help turn your idea into a reality. We can guide you through every step of the development process, from defining the project scope and gathering requirements to selecting the right technology stack and designing the app’s user interface.

Our team of skilled developers, designers, and project managers work together to ensure that your app is delivered on time, within budget, and meets all your requirements. We provide end-to-end services, including app development, testing, and ongoing maintenance to ensure that your app is up-to-date and runs smoothly.

If you want to create a meal plan app like Whisk that provides users with the tools they need to plan their meals, reduce food waste, and save money, Idea Usher is the ideal partner for you. 

Contact us today to learn more about our services and start your app development journey.

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Q. What are the essential features to include in a meal-planning app like Whisk?

ANS: Some of the key features to include in a meal planning app like Whisk are meal planning and recipe recommendations, the ability to create shopping lists, social sharing capabilities, user profiles, and eCommerce functionality.

Q. What are the challenges of building a meal-planning app like Whisk?

ANS: Some of the significant challenges of building a meal planning app like Whisk include gathering and organizing a large database of recipes, implementing advanced algorithms to recommend personalized meal plans, and integrating eCommerce functionality like payment gateway and secure checkout. It is also essential to keep up with the latest food trends and nutritional information to provide accurate recommendations.

Q. How can Idea Usher help you in building a meal plan app?

ANS: Idea Usher is a prominent app development company that has a team of skilled developers, designers, and project managers who work together to ensure that your app is delivered on time, within budget, and meets all your requirements. We provide end-to-end services, including app development, testing, and ongoing maintenance to ensure that your app is up-to-date and runs smoothly.

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