Magosoft's mission is to help people in the nutrition industry – dietitians and nutritionists, personal trainers, gym owners, and even sports teams – do their meal planning work as efficiently as possible by automating every repetitive task in their workflow.
This is why they created the Mealplana app. But besides wanting to satisfy the needs of their customers, they were also looking to expand their business.
With their first product, NutriAdmin, Magosoft asked hundreds of dietitians about their day-to-day work so they could build a tool to help them. The company noticed that some of their customers specialized in creating a lot of meal plans and recipes from scratch. Some of them could spend 10 or 20 hours a week creating meal plans, so they needed to have very accurate nutritional analyses.
Magosoft's research helped them spot these customers' main pain: their work process was really inefficient without specialized tools. If these nutrition experts wrote all this out on paper or typed it into a word document, they had to check a database of nutrients every time they included an item.
So the company decided to create a dedicated tool to automate the process. But they encountered development challenges of their own. In NutriAdmin they had a meal plan creator that they made from scratch. It worked well but it involved a lot of clicking around. And since their clients could spend many hours making meal plans, they spent a lot of time just clicking.
Magosoft realized that a spreadsheet or data grid would make things much more efficient, while also allowing them to develop extra features their clients were requesting.
They had two options: build their own or invest in an already existing product. Not wanting to be distracted from their main focus, they started looking for a suitable grid. And that's how they came across Handsontable, which became the core of the Mealplana app.
The beauty of software is you can use modules that other developers produce. We're a two-person company, so we'd never be able to develop such an advanced data grid. Instead, we decided to pay Handsontable, with a much bigger team developing the grid to be optimized.
Mealplana's main feature is creating meal plans, with additional functionality such as:
There's also a recipe editor so the dietitian or personal trainer can create recipes for their customers and a large database of foods and recipes. They can simply type in an item and see all the nutrients in it.
Another big feature is the meal plan generator. The dietitian can type in a specific diet and the algorithm will check thousands of different recipe combinations to find a combination that matches the parameters. This saves them a lot of work because they don't have to create the plan from scratch every time.
Users are very happy with Mealplana. This is because the app has been designed to help them create meal plans much faster. On top of that, they can easily send multiple documents to their clients, and they can reuse and modify many materials for different people with similar nutritional profiles.
Throughout the process of following up on their own clients over time, the software helps users stay organized, make sure they never forget any steps, and keep their data secure.
In Magosoft's previous project, it took a year to set up a grid that has much less functionality than the one they have now. They estimate that it would take years to create something like Handsontable because of the specifically dedicated amount of developer hours that have gone into it.
With Handsontable's help, we had our app set up in a matter of a week or two. It was easy to integrate with our software, it has comprehensive documentation, and it supports a lot of use cases that we need.
As for Magosoft's future plans for Mealplana, they're going to continue developing features and use the same marketing strategies that worked for NutriAdmin to grow the app. They plan to use as much Handsontable functionality as possible to increase productivity and prevent users from having to type things again and again, saving yet more of their time and helping them get more productive and less frustrated with their daily work.
Diego Oliveira Sanchez
Co-founder at Magosoft