Main Points of Food Recipe App Development

Do you enjoy cooking? If not, are there any culinary fans among your friends? Anyway, you probably know that searching for the right recipe on the Internet may take a lot of time. And after finding the desired, you're faced with another problem, namely: what is the proper way to save it? Rewriting the recipe on paper is too old-fashioned, and bookmarking it is unreliable. 

The best solution is all types of recipe apps, as they’re incredibly helpful in cooking. They have a lot of great features and therefore are in high demand among users. So it makes sense to consider starting your own project of the sort, what do you think?

Sounds tempting? Then it's time to read our article to learn how to make a recipe app. We share our expertise and experience and provide plenty of useful tips.

What is a recipe app?

These are mobile applications that make cooking easier, faster, and more convenient. In fact, such an app is a faithful assistant in the kitchen, a kind of digital scullion. It’s a mini-cook willing to help you with advice and give you the opportunity to consult with other users; and you can share your culinary experience with them too.

Of course, the apps in question differ in their functionality in one way or another, but they have one thing in common: they offer you useful cooking content and help you improve your culinary skills.

But do you know what's the coolest thing about these applications? The fact that they cover a wide variety of audiences. In the end, men and women, teenagers and old people, families and singles love to cook. And they can all become your users if you decide to introduce your own solution into the recipe app market. Great, isn't it? 

How do recipe sharing apps work? 

  • Firstly, the potential user downloads and installs the application.

  • Now he opens the program and selects the desired recipe from the list of top or new ones. In addition, he has the opportunity to use the search engine and clarify his requirements. 

  • The user views the recipe he likes and learns what ingredients are needed and how complicated the cooking process is.

  • If everything suits him, he starts cooking, after which he’s able to post a photo of the ready-to-eat meal and share it with friends on social networks. 

The process of using the application seems to be elementarily prime, right?

Benefits Of Cooking Recipe App

To begin with, there is an increasing demand for these kinds of applications today, which is confirmed by statistics. As the latest research claims, the cooking & recipe app market has reached more than $ 2.15 million and has already attracted at least 21 million users. And it's quite a promising start!

Moreover, you still have a chance to join the leaders, so why not become one? You just need to figure out how to make a recipe app and be willing to take risks.

Why are culinary applications so popular?

  • Enjoyment of culinary experimentation. Many representatives of the modern generation (which is sometimes called Generation Z) love to spend part of their leisure time cooking, and they prefer new, unfamiliar dishes. And various types of recipe apps might become their faithful assistants in these culinary experiments.

  • More communication. Besides, such applications might serve as a platform for finding like-minded people and communicating with them. Some users can find new friends to discuss interesting recipes and unusual dishes with them.

  • The increased popularity of the on-demand model. Today we're all in a constant hurry. And therefore we’d like to be able to order any service online and receive the work done here and now (on demand). An Uber taxi is a prime example of such a model: we need a car, we do a couple of taps and find the nearest taxi. The same applies to cooking: we want to cook something without spending too much time searching for the right recipe. So we should have a suitable application to achieve the singled aim… which is one more reason to create a recipe app.

  • Global digitalization. Most companies are trying to bring their services online to meet the requirements of their customers. And cooking is no exception.

Let's Start Developing a Recipe App

The above section should have let you know that the cost to create a recipe app could be high, but it’d pay off with the right approach to the development process. 

Let's discuss the issue from A to Z.

Choosing a technology stack for cooking app development

  • Selecting a mobile OS. In other words, first of all, you must decide on which platforms your application will run, iOS or Android.

    • It is best to analyze your future users and determine which devices they usually choose. If most of them prefer Apple products, start by building a recipe app for the iOS platform.

  • Native versus Cross-platform development. If you want to succeed, you need your mobile program to work on all platforms, both Apple and Android, so our previous tip is only good in the early stages of an app's life. Subsequently, when the application starts bringing you a profit, you should expand its capabilities. However, you have to decide on a development approach in advance:

    • native development. In other words, you create an application using a native programming language of a particular OS (separately for Android and iOS platforms). The approach takes more time and therefore more money.

    • a cross-platform approach, which allows simplifying the development process and creating an application supported by different operating systems. The cost for developing a recipe app will go down because you build your service just once.

  • Choice of application architecture. There are two main options:

    • monolithic architecture, which means we create a single interconnected system. Such a system is rather complicated and sometimes less convenient to use.

    • microservice approach. In the 2nd case, the system consists of numerous services communicating with each other using some protocols. The method is more flexible and easier to manage since these services are less dependent on each other.

  • Choosing a programming language to write an application. There are a lot of options, and it's almost impossible to list them all.

Of course, we’ve described only a small fraction of the problems that a developer will have to face in the cooking recipe app development process; you just see an example of the main possible challenges.

What does the choice of a technology stack affect?

  • Application efficiency. To begin with, the development method you choose influences the speed and performance of your program.

  • Scalability of the application, which implies the possibility of its further development.

  • The app’s cost. Finally, the development cost is related to the chosen technology stack too.

Useful APIs to easily create a recipe app

Developing a recipe application is a complex, lengthy, and, accordingly, expensive process, to put it mildly. However, there are different ways to simplify it, and one of them is using APIs.

API (application programming interface) is a set of certain procedures, functions, and constants for interaction between a site or application and third-party servers. The developer can take advantage of the API to gain access to the functionality of a third-party program (say, to implement a payment system).

  • A good example is embedding YouTube videos on your site, which is possible thanks to the YouTube API.

Follow the link to learn the 55 coolest financial APIs to start your digital project of any type.

How can APIs help us when it comes to cooking app development?

  • Simplified registration process using social networks (Facebook API would come to the rescue in this respect);

  • Access to a source of recipes of various kinds;

  • Advanced recipe search (to be precise, it's about integration a special service to make the entire search process user-friendly and intuitive);

  • Processing and managing the ingredients of a specific recipe;

  • Finding the nearest grocery shopping stores;

  • Safe and secure payments.

And that’s just a shortlist of what APIs are capable of. Surely, some of them are paid, which might increase your costs to make your own recipe app, but sometimes it's worth it. Especially as you can also find free solutions.

Developing A Recipe App

Must-Have Features Of a Cooking Recipe App

When building a recipe application, be sure to develop two versions of the program, each with its own set of features.

User Features

  • Check-in. Let's start with the simplest thing, which is registration. The most important trick is not to force the user to take unnecessary steps, otherwise, he'll abandon the idea of installing your application and choose a competitive service.

    • The easiest way to register is via social media.

  • Account creation. The user has successfully registered. Now he needs to tell other users about himself. Invite him to fill out a short inquirer with basic questions such as age, sex, location, occupation, hobbies, and more.

    • By the way, if a user has registered through social networks, key information about him will be obtained from his account in FB, Instagram, Twitter (or other social networks).

  • Cooking content. The main app screen should offer the user a list of various kinds of recipes that can be sorted by novelty, rating, and other parameters; such an option would be handy if the user isn’t going to resort to another feature, namely… 

  • Filters-powered search. Also, all types of recipe apps should have a search feature to help users find the recipes they need. In addition, users can resort to various filters to clarify which recipe they're interested in (say, healthy diet, Italian cuisine, etc.).

  • The list of available recipes. The user indicated his wishes and tapped the Search button. Your application must now produce all matching results.

  • Description of the recipe. Let's say a user has looked at the list of available recipes and selected those that seem appropriate to him. What does he need to do in the next step? Of course, the user should follow the link and read the detailed description of the recipe he likes most. And you, as the application owner (that is, the one who decided to create a recipe app), must make sure he can do this. An ideal recipe has to contain a list of ingredients and a description of a cooking method; it's also desirable to illustrate the recipe with pictures. 

  • Video instruction. It's good when the recipe is described and illustrated in detail. But it's even better if the user can see the cooking process with his own eyes. That's precisely when all kinds of video instructions would come in handy.

  • The nutritional value. Today it's fashionable to lead a wholesome life and keep a diet. And people who follow such a trend use the recipe app for healthy cooking purposes (among other things). It means your service should provide information about the nutritional value of each recipe.

  • Favorites. Let's say a user likes a recipe but he isn't ready to cook a dish right now. Then give him the opportunity to save the recipe and add it to the Favorites section.

  • Social integration. Users love to share the content they like on their social media pages. It also applies to cooking. So the Sharing button would allow your users to post interesting recipes on Facebook or other social networks and thereby promote your mobile service.

  • Adding recipes. When building a recipe application, you can use the aggregator model, which might greatly simplify the whole thing. In this case, the application collects (aggregates) and classifies recipes from different resources. However, we recommend that you allow users to add recipes themselves and accompany them with images and video tutorials (if possible).

  • Menu planning. In addition, the user would appreciate the chance to plan his menu composed of the recipes of your application.

  • Reviews & Ratings. The cost to build a recipe mobile app won't go up too much if you add reviews and ratings, but users will definitely appreciate such a feature. They'll be able to rate recipes they tried and read other users' feedback on a particular dish before starting to cook it themselves.

  • Settings management. Let the user manage their account and change settings as needed.

  • Push Notifications. Of course, you cannot do without notifications in the cooking recipe app development process. The feature is essential for most digital products.

Admin Features

The second block of features is aimed at the administrator of your application. The admin's task is to manage the system: payments, users, content, and more.

The on-demand model is very popular right now, and Postmates and Zomato are striking examples to prove it. Wanna know more?

Actually, the above functionality is just enough to attract users. Though, if you aren't afraid of increasing costs to make your own recipe app, add a few more cool features, thereby you'll make your service even more engaging and inviting.

5 Additional Features for Your app 

  • Recalculation of ingredients. Of course, any recipe indicates the right amount of each ingredient per serving (or per a specific number of servings). However, what if one needs to cook more or fewer servings (versus the recipe)? To simplify the recalculation of ingredients, add the appropriate feature. Thanks to it, the user has to make just a couple of taps to get an updated version of the recipe.

  • Shopping List. Suppose a user likes a certain recipe, but some of the ingredients are missing in his fridge. What should he do? That's right, he has to add them to his shopping list using your application. This is one of the many benefits of cooking recipe apps.

  • Recipe Cost Calculator. The previous option logically leads to this, since making a shopping list is only half the battle. It's also important to figure out how much money is needed to buy all the ingredients. The recipe cost calculator will help the user to draw up his cooking budget.

  • Finding nearby grocery stores. The user already has a shopping list, now he just needs to find out which store to go with it. You can give him a cue by locating and pointing out the nearby grocery stores.

  • Voice control. Our small list of additional features of a cooking recipe app ends with such a great option as voice control. Imagine how cool it might be: the user is cooking a dish, so he can't take a smartphone with his hands, as they're full right now; and there is no need to take it! All the user has to do is to voice the command out loud (of course, it's about simple commands like "Go Back").

how to make a recipe app

How much does it cost to develop an eCommerce website? We know the answer! Click here to find it out too.

Now let’s discuss the average cost to build a recipe mobile app.

Cost for Developing a Recipe app

Before giving you an idea of the estimated development budget, we'd like to explain to you what affects the cost to create a recipe app:

  • The complexity of the application itself, including the number and type of features. In other words, this includes everything related to the app functionality.

  • The approach to cooking app development that we've already mentioned when describing the choice of a technology stack.

  • UI/UX. It costs more to build a great cooking app design, but the chances of attracting users will also increase.

  • Post-launch dev activities. Okay, let's say you managed to create a recipe application. Do you think your dev expenses are a thing of the past now? Sorry to disappoint you, but no, they're not. Developers should keep working on your app, updating its functionality, improving program performance, and more.

It’s finally time to move on to the question of the development budget itself. The graph below illustrates how your potential costs depend on the level of the application complexity.

Cost For Developing A Recipe app

The Best Way to Monetize Your Recipe App

  • In-app advertising. Advertising is the simplest way to monetize any application. The main difficulty is finding advertisers who agree to make your app their own promotion platform.

  • Freemium model. We assume you remember our discussion of additional features to invite more users; among other things, we’ve mentioned the cost to create a recipe app, which is likely to increase accordingly. So, it's a good idea to make these features paid (provided that your basic functionality is free). Such a model is called Freemium, and it's a great way to earn money.

  • Subscription, which is another variant of the above monetization method, with the difference that after the trial period, the user must pay monthly to access your application.

  • In-app purchases. If you can come with an idea of what digital goods to sell in your application, you're welcome to implement such a monetization model either. Among in-app purchases' ideas are paid stickers, access to certain recipes, and the like.

Interested in a cooking recipe app development project? Then let's get down to the details!


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