Thursday, April 18, 2024

How to Develop a Food Recipe App : Cost and Key Features

Food is the most essential thing to everyone and cannot be neglected at any cost. However, people have started making it even more interesting by looking up interesting recipes that can help them spice up the taste and get the best out of what they eat.

What to cook? How to cook? What ingredients are needed? In what proportion do you need to add each ingredient to a dish? There are several questions that you seek answers to when it comes to making a dish, and you might have to look up the internet for the same.

But what if you had a mobile application that provides you solutions to all such problems and offers you a defined recipe for each dish?

Gone are the days when cookbooks were referred to while working in the kitchen. Also, their shelf life could not be as much as your phone has.

Once you store or mark a recipe as your favorite on an app, you can view it for a lifetime, or as long as you have the recipe on your phone. There have been a lot of recipe applications that have recently come into being, that do not only offer the recipes of a single cuisine but can help you get access to various cuisines in a few simple clicks.

The evolution of technology has helped made advancements even in the food and recipe sector. User has become gravely dependent on these applications to a great extent, which has led to the success of recipe apps.

Several apps have also integrated food ingredients shopping as well, which helps the users to buy the raw materials also from the application itself. This makes the owners integrate e-commerce into their platforms as well.

Introduction to food recipe applications:

Become an expert in cooking almost everything with the help of a recipe app in very little time. There are a lot of recipe apps on the app store from where the users can select the one that suits their needs the most and install it on their mobile devices.

After downloading the application, the user can simply sign up on the app with all his details and start browsing through the recipes that are available for them to use. For each recipe that they select, they will get access to the ingredients used in the making and the online store where they can purchase all the ingredients.

These apps make it very easy for users to buy and make any recipe they want. From continental cuisine to Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Mexican, all recipes are at their fingertips.

These apps also enable the users to mark the recipes that they would like to access in the future in their favorite list, wherein, they can easily go to the tab sometime later and start viewing it.

cooking recipe app development cost

Here are some benefits of using the cooking recipe apps:

  • A user can multitask while using the app, as it can help them prepare multiple dishes at the same time.
  • There are hundreds and thousands of recipes available on the app, which are categorized properly according to their cuisine and country of origin.
  • Each recipe mentioned in the recipe app has simple and step-by-step instructions mentioned below them.
  • If you are not a person who reads a recipe and then prepares it, then you can simply go on to the video format of it and view it on a video while preparing it.
  • Users can prepare any dish after watching its recipe and can share pictures of the dish prepared by them on the app for other users to see.
  • It is a platform that allows users to interact with each other. This allows them to communicate to other users how they prepare a dish and what personal ingredients they added to make their version of the recipe better.

Statistics and market reports of cooking recipe apps:

The cooking recipe apps have witnessed tremendous growth in the past few years since people are gradually shifting from using big and bulky cookbooks to using easy apps that can give them access to thousands of recipes at the same time.


Recipe app market size
Verified market research

The market for these apps has been growing because of the increase in the number of users. Here are some statistics that prove the growth of applications, especially recipe applications:

  • There are over 21.7 million users that have been showing deep interest in looking up recipes online and on mobile apps. This proves that the growth rate of the industry is very high and there are higher chances for it to survive in the long run.
  • There was a significant increase in the revenue generated by the recipe apps between the years 2014 and 2017. While the total revenue earned by these apps during 2014 was $ 41.2 billion across the world, it shot up to $ 77 billion within just three years.
  • One of the top-rated recipe apps Xiachufang had 13.74 million active users in December 2019, and the number increased to 14.8 million in just a month.

Questions to be answered before starting a food recipe app:

While you might have an idea of a food recipe app in your mind, there must be several things you should be sure about. You might find the best team to work for you, and you might have all the money and budget to spend on the app development and marketing of your mobile app, but will the app sustain in the market despite the growing competition, will it generate a decent amount of return on investment?

Here are a few questions you must have the answer to right from the beginning:

  • What makes your app unique? Is there any other app similar to the kind of app you are planning to launch?
  • How much are you spending on the development and marketing of your app? Is it worth spending all the time, money, and resources?
  • What are the functions that you are going to offer in your app? How the functionality does make it different from the others?
  • Who is your target audience, and what all features do they expect to see in the application?
  • Will you build an app with just the basic feature or is there a scope for additional features as well?

Features to be included in a cooking recipe app:

While there might be numerous features that you might want to integrate with your cooking recipe app, it is essential to know the basic features that will make your app worth a download.

Take a look at some essential features that you must integrate with your app:


1. Registration:

This feature enables the users to have their separate accounts which have detailed information about each user, along with their names, ages, preferences, and profile pictures.

The signup process should be integrated with social media so that the procedure becomes simple and the users are able to get all their details from their Facebook or Gmail accounts.

The login procedure should also be simple wherein the users can directly log into the app by clicking on one of the social media accounts.

2. Profile creation:

After successfully registering themselves with the app, the users have to create their profiles by submitting all the required details.

This also helps them sort out the recipes they are interested in which helps them get suggestions for the recipes that they might be interested in.

3. Search option:

This is one feature that gives you access to look up specific recipes just by entering the name of the dish.

As soon as the users type the name of the dish, they see a dropdown with the suggestions that the app has to offer. This reduces the time the users to look up a certain recipe.

4. Advanced search:

While the simple search might be enough for many users, an advanced search takes the experience a notch higher by allowing the users to look up a recipe just by entering the cooking method or some of its ingredients.

5. Share pictures:

This feature allows the users to take pictures of the dish prepared by them following a certain recipe and then upload it to their account. These pictures are accessible to other users or their followers. This helps them share their recipes with others on the same platform.

Features cooking recipe app

6. Add recipes:

Each user has the right to make their own recipes and upload them on the app with their name and details of them. They can also add pictures to these recipes and mention all cooking details step by step.

7. Personalized recipe:

Users might not be comfortable with all the ingredients used in a recipe. With the help of this feature, they can mention the ingredients they don’t want to include in their recipe. The app will show them any alteration of that ingredient if any.

8. Subscriptions:

A user can subscribe to the recipe app according to their preferences. Since most of these apps have paid subscriptions, a user has the right to choose any of the payment options, which can vary from monthly to fortnightly or annually.

9. Recipe list:

Since it is a cooking recipe app, it has a plethora of recipes stored in it. Users have the access to all the recipes once they subscribe to the app.

10. Information on the nutritional facts:

Some users who turn to these apps are conscious of the nutritional benefits and the calorie count in each recipe. However, the cooking apps give them detailed information on the nutrition being consumed by them with each dish.

11. Video recipes:

These apps have the option for the users wherein they can get access to the video tutorials of the recipes. This enables them to cook a dish while watching its video.

So, for those who are not sure of what the consistency of a dish should be or what color it should be, they can easily get all this information by looking at the video tutorials.

12. Photo section:

While each recipe is followed with a lot of text and video tutorials, they also have a separate picture gallery associated with them.

These pictures make it more enticing and exciting for the users, generating their interest in making it.

13. Feedback and reviews:

Each user can provide feedback on a specific recipe either by rating it on the app or leaving a review for the same. This will help the other users get a better understanding of the same before they start to work on it in their kitchen.

14. Save recipes:

This feature enables the users to mark any recipe as their favorite so that they have easy access to the same in the future. They would not have to go searching for it at a later stage if they want to prepare the same.

15. Print:

Since the online medium is quite convenient for the users as they can see the entire recipe on their phone screens, some might be old school and might want to have their recipe on paper right in front of them.

For those, it is better to take a printout of the recipe with the help of the print feature and be prepared with a hard copy of the recipe before even preparing it.

16. Ingredient calculator:

The amount to be prepared might vary from user to user. Therefore, the ingredient count will also differentiate. For the same, these apps have a calculator that helps you measure the amount of each ingredient that should be added to the recipe.

17. Social media integration:

This is a special feature that allows the users to share the recipe prepared by them on social media with just a click.

Since everyone, from every age group, is quite social media savvy and like to put up their work on these platforms for other to see and appreciate their efforts, it is important for each application to integrate this feature in their application.

18. Be a part of a community:

There are several people who share similar interests and would like to be a part of a community that discusses things based on similar interests.

This feature enables them to look at the communities that fall under the app and become a part of any of the communities of their interest.

19. Plan each meal:

Apart from having access to all the recipes that are available on the cooking recipe app, it is also important for the apps to integrate a feature that enables them to plan each meal according to the number of carbohydrates, nutrition, fiber, calories, etc.

20. Push notifications:

This is one feature that is important for all mobile applications. In the case of a cooking food recipe app, it gives helps in giving out important information when a new recipe is added to any cuisine or when the app is running any special offers or discounts for its users.


1. Sign up and log in:

The admin to needs to have their own credentials before starting any activity on the app. They will log in each time to the admin panel of the app with their own credentials.

2. Managing the profiles:

The admin can exercise complete control over the profiles of each user that is registered with the app. Therefore, they have the authority of viewing and edit each profile of the users.

3. Category management:

All the recipe categories that are listed on the mobile cooking recipe applications can be edited and managed by the admin. They can add or remove a new category as and when needed.

4. User management:

The admin gets the authority of managing each user, by viewing, editing, or deleting their profiles as and when needed.

5. Cuisines:

Since there are a lot of cuisines that one can mention in their application, it is the work of the admin to manage all of them. They can at any time add a new cuisine if they start receiving recipes of that particular recipe.

Develop a Food Recipe App

6. Special considerations:

The admin can exercise in managing the special considerations given to any users on the app. They can offer benefits to their loyal users at times, which are done only with the ultimate decision of the admin.

7. Managing packages:

The subscription packages are also in the hands of the admin. They can according to their convenience and the market standard increase or reduce the price of each subscription package offered.

8. Manage recipes:

All recipes that are provided by the admin are also managed by them. They can keep adding new recipes going forward and delete the ones that might not seem too interesting to the users to the admin themselves.

9. Manage community:

As we discussed the communities that the users can join, are managed by the admin who has overall control over them.

They have the access to know what is going on in a community and how it is affecting their users. There might be times when the admin decides to even delete some communities if they are not following the protocols of the mobile application.

10. View reviews:

Reviews are the most crucial part of a cooking recipe app and the admin has full access to the feedback provided by their users. This helps them make improvements and changes to suit the needs and requirements of the users.

11. Managing the payments:

Users can manage payments of all the subscriptions made through the app under this section. This also includes the e-stores available on the app.

12. Upload pictures and magazines:

The admin might also be the author of some magazine or a cookbook. This feature allows them to upload the entire cookbook or their magazine onto the app for a better reference for the users as they can view images and get all information about a recipe here.

13. Manage earnings:

All the money that comes in through the application is accessible by the admin.

14. Managing content:

All cooking recipe apps are heavy in content as they consist of important ingredient details of each recipe and step-by-step cooking information. The admin can also manage control over the content section of the mobile application.

15. Push notifications:

The admin can send out important information about the recipes and any new additions to the app with the help of this feature. They can also intimate the users when they offer any discounts or offers to them.

The team required to develop a cooking recipe app:

Developing a food recipe app is not a cakewalk. There is a lot of effort and time that goes into making one; therefore the app owners need to pass on the onus of making the app to a highly efficient team of developers who put in their years of experience and expertise in making the same.

Recipe app development

It is very important to know all the important aspects of developing a recipe app as there are certain technicalities that the developer should know about.

Another thing that is very important to know is the technology that will be needed during the course of development. Take a look at the experts required to build an efficient cooking recipe app:

  • Project manager: He is responsible for handling the overall functioning of the app, and should be well versed in the entire procedure of developing the app. They should also be able to explain to their team the access they want to give to the users and the admin. They should be able to monitor the entire team at the same time and give instructions to each one of them separately.
  • App developers (Frontend, Backend, iOS, and Android): They are the core team members who put the actual brain behind developing an efficient app. They know all the technical know-how of developing the app and making an app with all the requirements of clients.
  • UX/UI developers: The app becomes attractive to users because of its design and appearance. The simpler and more attractive the design of the app, it will help in getting more users on board. Graphic designers and UX/UI designers also have an important role to play in the development procedure.
  • Quality Analyst: After the app has been developed, it has to go through a rigorous quality analysis which is done by the quality assurance experts. They check the app thoroughly and let the developers know if the app lacks something. Then it comes back into the development phase and the missing elements are added to it. This assures the clients of a quality product.

Tech Stack required to Develop a Food Recipe App:

Before even planning how to go about the project, it is important to know the technology that will be required to create the app.

Technology also plays a crucial role in developing an app and it helps you add all that is needed in a food recipe app. Here is the technology stack that is essential in developing a food recipe app:

  • Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Web, etc. You have to know your target audience in order to select a platform for your applications.
  • Kind of application you are developing: You can choose from the three namely – Native, Hybrid and cross-platform
  • Frontend technologies are required to design the app with the help of UI/UX
  • Backend Technologies including the programming languages are required to write the codes of the application in case of an iOS application.

Cost of developing a food recipe app:

While you might have a budget set for developing an app, you must be informed that the budget is just an estimate of what you might have to spend in the coming days.

recipe app development cost

There is no accuracy on the amount you have to spend on an app and it might increase or decrease because of the below-mentioned factors:

  • Size of the app: If you are getting a bulky app that is being launched on a large scale, you might have to spend a lot of money in the development phase as compared to an app that has only the basic feature or is an MVP.
  • Choice of platforms: Going forwards you will have to decide if you want to develop a native app or a hybrid app, also you will have to consider selecting the platform you want to launch it on which can be either one of the two – iOS or Android. The cost of developing the app for a single platform will be less than an app that is made to function on various platforms. Also, the price of development varies for each platform.
  • Team’s geographical location of the team: If you are hiring an app development team U.S., be ready to spend heaps of money on them. The charges of app developers from the USA are much more than the developers in Europe and Asia. Take a look at the app development cost of developers from different regions per hour:
  • The rate of a developer from the U.S. will range between $150 to $200 per hour.
  • The rate of a developer from the U.K. will range from $ 100 to $ 149 per hour.
  • The rate of a developer from Australia will range between $ 55 to $ 99 per hour.
  • The rate of a developer from Dubai will range between $ 50 to $ 99 per hour.
  • The rate of a developer from India will range between $ 20 to $ 50 per hour.
  • Design: Next up is the design of the app. An app with many complexities and a complex design will take a longer development time; therefore, you will have to spend a lot of money on the same. Meanwhile, a less complex app with a rather simple design is quick and easy to make. The charges of the same a reasonably low.
  • Features: The number of features included in an also helps you estimate the amount you might have to spend on its development. An app with minimum and the basic features will be quite reasonable to make than an app that has multiple feature options. Therefore, the budget should be decided to keep in mind the number of features you want to integrate into your app. Clients can also choose to get an MVP developed in the beginning if there is a money constraint and keep adding more features going forward.
  • Maintenance: 15-20% of the development cost is spent on maintenance annually. This cost should also be a part of the total budget of the mobile application.


The epidemic has given rise to recipe apps as people have been refraining from going outside to have dinners and lunches. Users are turning to competent recipe applications to try a hand at their favorite recipes.

However, it is very important to hire an app development agency that is competent enough to give you an app that outshines the others and guides you at every step.

You have to be sure about the platform you want to launch your mobile app on and the audience you want to target, and the rest of the work is handled by the app developers who with their expertise, create an outstanding application.

It is a good practice to see what the other recipe apps have to offer to their users and get an idea of how to go about it from them.

However, it will be better to offer the users something new and out of the box, as they might not like to use something that has already been used before.

Jaxx Anton
Jaxx Anton
Jaxx Anton is a freelance technical writer. He is passionate about innovative technologies that make the world a better place and loves creating content that produces vivid emotions.

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