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Food Data Intelligence Startup NutriCal Launches in the UAE

The startup only launched in the UAE this month, and has already picked up enough traction that talks of regional expansion in Saudi and potentially the GCC are in gestation.

NutriCal, a startup focused on food data intelligence, has launched in the UAE to enable users to access streamlined information — made up of aggregated data — to make more nuanced decisions when it comes to what food to consume.

The software is the first of its kind in the region, and benefits both users and food businesses. The tech solution can be integrated by restaurants, cloud kitchens, F&B delivery companies and food manufacturers to enrich their offerings by catering to a widespread demand of healthier eating habits—especially during a global pandemic. The system has over 25,000 ingredients from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other international databases, with the added benefit of ease of adoption by a brand’s existing tech platform. 

 “Our long-term vision at NutriCal is to be able to match the consumer’s preferences to a business’s food products and recipes,” said Founder Soniya Ashar. “Ultimately, with our solution we want every food business to attract customers and increase revenue as their consumers are able to make a satisfactory and informed decision about the food they consume. Having received a positive response from the UAE market, we have plans to expand our business line in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We see immense opportunity and potential in the GCC region and want to be instrumental in bringing about a positive change in what the food industry has to offer.”

In the midst of a global health crisis—and mangled with the results of a study by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that showed that among 195 countries, the UAE is in the second-from-worst category when it comes to annual deaths caused by poor diet—healthy and conscientious eating is one of the UAE’s top priorities. NutriCal is aligning itself with the UAE’s National Agenda for 2021 to promote more well-informed choices for better eating habits and lifestyles.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an evident shift in consumer behaviour. They are now demanding greater transparency into sanitation and food offerings by restaurants,” added Ashar. “Demand for healthy food has risen to unprecedented levels too. Therefore, food service providers and food delivery companies that display nutritional and caloric information for menu items are allowing customers to take better control of their wellbeing.”

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