Mobile phones to inform customers of what to eat at point of purchase

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 10th September 2008

American-based WebDiet, Inc. has created a program which provides consumers with customised meal suggestions at the point of purchase based on the needs, wants and location of the customer.It is a new smartphone-based service to help people make smarter eating choices and improve their health, according to the creators. WebDiet is the first and only service to proactively send customers specific and dynamic meal suggestions, directly to their email and mobile devices immediately before time of purchase. Meal recommendations sent throughout the day are customised to users’ diet goals, based on what they’ve already eaten and their remaining calories for the day.

WebDiet utilises wireless, GPS and smartphone technologies, including iPhones, to bring WebDiet’s unique real-time Meal-by-Meal Guidance system to the palm of the consumer’s hand. To help attain weight and health goals, meal suggestions are sent directly before meal times based on personal settings and preferences, and can be custom-configured to support restricted calorie diets, low carb, low sodium, vegetarian, kosher and more diet choices.

“WebDiet gives consumers a smart and easy way to eat better, keep track of what they eat, and get healthy — even on the go — anytime, anywhere,” said Chris Shipley, executive producer of the DEMO Conferences. “Its innovative technology integrates wireless services, GPS, location-based services (LBS) and smartphones — and the company has a profitable business model that I had not seen in this category.”

The company believes the technology is vital to provide consumers with more information about what they should be eating at a time when obesity is on the rise.”Now with fast food popularity growing and our overweight and obesity epidemic on the rise in America, helping people to eat smarter is an urgent task,” said Craig Gold, CEO and co-founder of WebDiet, Inc. “Everyone knows our health depends largely on the choices we make in what we eat, and how much we eat. Research proves that keeping track of what we eat is the best method of losing weight. WebDiet not only makes keeping track easy to do, we go a step further, giving users dynamic real-time meal recommendations based on their daily intake requirements and diet goals.”

Users can select from restaurant and chain-specific meals, standardised meals available by food type and grocery stores, meals made at home, or from The WebDiet Collection(SM) of custom meal suggestions.

The collection of options offers thousands of meal ideas that can be made at home or custom ordered from many chain restaurant and fast food outlets, allowing users to eat at their local favourites while also helping them achieve their health and diet goals, the company suggests.

WebDiet has arranged deals with some food retailers to provide discounts and a linking of the technology with electronic ordering facilities of the retailer appears to be the next step.
Mobile technology is suddenly being linked with food retail around the world, with, for example, i-phones providing a program in the US which directs consumers to suitable nearby restaurants and mobile phones being tested to house credit card information to enable in-store purchases simply with a mobile phone.