ARC Health & Wellness Community

The Association of Retail and Consumer Professionals


As more consumers embrace the habit of home meal preparation, it’s no surprise that meal planning assistance is in high demand. While some of your shoppers may have the discipline to scan their pantry and refrigerator weekly, shop with intention and plan creative menus, the vast majority need help – and there’s an app for that. Technology has made many things in the kitchen easy and today’s meal planning apps can help consumers plan meals from anywhere, seamlessly. When your customers ask for meal planning assistance, be prepared to offer recommendations. Here, is a list of some of the most popular meal planning apps.

  • Mealime – Founded in 2013, Mealime was created to save time on meal prep and now has over 4.5 million downloads. The app has tons of tasty, fresh recipes and offers recipes for eight diet types including classic, low carb, flexitarian, paleo, vegetarian, pescatarian, keto, and vegan. Users can also search for recipes that meet dietary restrictions such as dairy or nut free. The app also allows users to shop online or in-store at their favorite store. There is a free option and a $2.99/month subscription that can be canceled at any time.
  • Paprika – Paprika is a free app that helps consumers organize up to 50 recipes, make weekly or monthly meal plans, and create grocery lists. Using Paprika’s built-in browser, recipes can be saved from anywhere on the web and unlimited recipes can be synced across multiple devices if you purchase and unlock the Paprika Cloud Sync for $4.99. Recipes are interactive and the Paprika screen does not shut off while using a recipe. Other features include the smart shopping list that sorts products by aisle and combines like products together, and the built-in recipe tools with integrated timers.
  • PlateJoy – For those individuals looking for help with weight management, PlateJoy tracks calories and can sync with MyFitnessPal and Fitbit. Meal plans can be personalized for 10 different dietary patterns including Mediterranean and Gluten Free. In addition, the digital pantry considers what individuals have in their kitchen to help reduce food waste and save money. There is also an optional grocery delivery feature with one click through Instacart and Amazon Fresh. PlateJoy subscriptions come in 1-month ($12.99), 6-month ($69) and 12-month ($99) packages. 
  • MealPrepPro – For approximately $3.99/month, the Meal Prep Pro app focuses on prepping meals for the week. From high-protein to vegan, Mediterranean to keto there is over 15 plans to choose from. The smart grocery list consolidates needs and organizes everything by aisle to make shopping easy for users. They work with RDNs to ensure nutrition integrity and meals can be tracked and synced with Apple Health to see progress.
  • BigOven – Free users can save up to 200 recipes to their digital recipe box, create grocery lists, share lists among synced devices, and search a catalog that contains more than a million recipes. Subscribers can access the meal planner, recipe scanning and editing features, and a dietary preference search. This app is available for a 30-day free test period and the basic package is free. For $2.99/month or $24.99/year the BigOven pro provides additional features. One unique feature is the Use Up Leftovers tool, which helps users find recipes with ingredients on hand.
  • MealBoard – This $3.99 app is an affordable iPhone app that is used for recipe-storage, meal planning and shopping list generation. MealBoard allows users to import recipes easily, for example from their favorite retailer, and to customize any recipes by changing ingredients or directions. This app keeps track of pantry items and has options for weekly calendar links to recipes and the ability to export shopping lists.

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