The development of new apps designed to educate people about nutrition is being boldly introduced to businesses to encourage employees to embark on healthier diets. By creating easy access for employees by way of an app, they can benefit from nutritional guidance and support. Enter Zipongo, a startup app with the goal of helping companies and their employees make healthier food choices. The app works by allowing employees to browse through a company’s cafeteria menu and receive suggestions based on preset, personal nutrition guidelines. The idea is to empower employees to make better nutritional choices on their own (with a little guidance from the app, of course) to improve overall wellness and increase productivity.
The company debuted in 2011 and has had over 125 companies use its services to better the health and wellness of their employees. In fact, Google has been a long time user of Zipongo’s services, and IBM recently started implementing the app as well.
The app charges companies around $50 per employee (per year) and allows complete access to its various nutritional guidance services. While on the surface, this may seem like a small-scale business model, Zipongo has garnered over $10 million in financing since its founding in 2011.
Jason Langheier, the driven founder of this food-based company, said he got the inspiration for the app when he realized that nutrition counseling services were expensive and exclusive. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the estimated average cost of a nutrition counseling session was $73. Langheier decided there had to be a better solution. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be better to have a useful set of digital tools first?”, he said. The idea that nutritional guidance could be easily accessible and affordable led Langheier to develop Zipongo, which at its core boldly aims to reduce healthcare costs and lower employee sick days.
As a whole, Zipongo has seen positivity and improvement in the employees and companies that use the app. The ability of users to have the freedom to make their own food choices while having the professional-level guidance of a nutritionist has made Zipongo a bold new player in the health startup game. At the rate the company is going, we predict seeing an overall increase in employee nutrition, a decrease in sick days and high healthcare costs, and a smaller and smaller group of grumpy, hungry co-workers.