Case Study: Design My Meals

Design My Meals logo

Design My Meals is a complex meal-planning and special-diet filter built atop a robust personalization engine — think epicurious meets WebMD. Families can input their specific dietary requirements, from food preferences (no onions, ever) to medically-necessary requirements (candida or allergens) and can then easily source recipes meeting a family or person’s very specific needs from the web’s most popular sites — in one place. That’s a good idea, no?

Technical challenge:

Integrating tens of thousands of recipes across the web into one format that can be applied to a universal meal plan, nutrition calculator, and grocery list is a big undertaking. Thorough natural language processing work needs to be completed to assure the system learns that grape tomatoes aren’t grapes and to translate cooking parlance like “pinches” and “dashes” into recognizable units, and so on.


Avenue’s team of two health SMEs paired with two natural language processing experts to create and implement a precise requirements document to “teach” Design My Meals’ components to translate and correctly apply over 50,000 recipes and their ingredients into a standard system.


The platform now integrates up to 10 personal profiles within a family or medical group (for example, a breast cancer survivors’ weekly get-together) and delivers highly-personalized, medically-sensitive recipe suggestions, which can be published in meal calendars, grocery lists, or private “favorites boards” (much like Pinterest).

Bon apetit!


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