Following the launch of the Digital Leisure & Hospitality Innovations 2017 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the key entries in the report are being published.
Here is a Q&A with Joel Burgess, co-founder, Nutrifix.
- How did the original idea come about?
I started Nutrifix to “scratch my own itch”. In my teens, I was fit and healthy; I loved sport, particularly rugby, and even managed to get paid for it, but as I moved into my 20s, injuries hindered my professional sporting ambitions. Before I knew it I was 30 years old and no longer the fit and healthy person I’d always been.
I tried to follow numerous diets, with limited success. I was constantly eating on the go, with minimal time to read labels, and struggled to know what to eat. So, I put together a detailed list of the best things to eat when out and about – what to order at Pret, Wagamama, Eat… they were all there; thousands of meals rated according to what was best for my nutritional needs.
Soon after people started asking me to do nutritional lists for them! That’s when the seeds of Nutrifix were sewn: what if I turned the list into an app, that anyone could access on the go, to help them find healthy food tailored to their nutritional needs. The idea quickly became a mission – something I believed could genuinely take the stress out of healthy eating.
Fast forward one year and Nutrifix was born; from my initial scrappy list to a fully-formed app loaded with nutritional data, able to empower thousands of people to eat healthier.
- What has been the level of take-up of the service and what are the key ways restaurants and people are using it?
Having launched in March 2017, we now have over 9,000 active users with the aim of having 30,000 monthly active users by the end of 2018. Our stats show that the most common ‘Quick Pick’ (way to refine their list of recommendations) is protein-packed which suggests that lots of our early users are exercising regularly. We also have some vegan and gluten-free users, which we expected, as Nutrifix is serving a clear pain point for them, even though more and more restaurants are catering for these dietary requirements.
On the restaurant side of things, we have now recruited over 120 restaurants onto the platform, giving us coverage of over 12,000 outlets in the UK. Our focus in 2018 will be London and we want to double that number. Once we have proved the concept, we will expect to launch internationally, focusing on busy cities with a booming health industry, such as New York and Sydney.
- What about competition in this area?
There is nothing in the market like Nutrifix, as current nutrition apps are either retrospective or require hours of planning, which when living a busy hectic life, can be difficult or impossible. Nutrifix is designed to be quick and easy, and comes at the perfect time when there is a growing trend for eating on the go. Nutrifix allows you to know, instantly, what’s the healthiest thing on the menu to match your nutritional needs in thousands of locations. And we think that’s pretty groundbreaking in itself.
It empowers users to make healthy and informed decisions wherever they are, and whatever they fancy to eat. Plus with our partnership with Deliveroo, our users can even have their meal delivered.
- How has the solution been developed / advanced over time?
We had a really engaged audience of early adopters who were more forgiving and very keen to provide feedback. We used them to test the beta version of the app as much as we could, so we learnt a lot in the beginning and our app looks totally different now to what it did then.
Initially, we were trying to do everything: provide recipes, locate food on the high street and allow people to track their food intake throughout the day. This was too complicated, confusing and wasn’t working. We streamlined the app’s function, focusing purely on eating on the go or delivery, and were overwhelmed by the response when we launched.
- Have there been any surprises along the way?
As we started to build our restaurant vendor base, we did come across a stumbling block. As launching a marketplace is difficult – to get more vendors on board, we needed more users and on the flip side, users wanted to see more vendors on board. To tackle this we had to get people to buy into our vision and to partner with vendors who shared our values: transparency and good healthy honest food!
- What can we expect from Nutrifix in the future?
We are growing our user base in London to prove the concept but the plan is to take Nutrifix global, to help people all around the world to lead healthier lives through providing transparency about the food they are eating.
In terms of short-term ambitions, we’re soon launching a premium version of the app for both our vendors and users. Premium vendors will be able to offer click & collect, as well as time-based promotions and offers through our apps. This will increase their visibility and conversions in the app, resulting in more footfall and insightful user data.
Nutrifix Pro, for users, will benefit from additional personalisation and a discount on a DNA testing kit, which will feed into recommendations in the app. On top of this they will be able to access the full menu for each vendor.
- Do you have any recommendations for entries in the next Digital Leisure & Hospitality Innovations report?
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