While food delivery apps were a vital component of getting a version of the restaurant experience at home during the pandemic’s toughest months, most customers opted for pure comfort food rather than healthier fare. Enter Bitewell, a new digital service startup that aims to help people get the healthiest and most nutritious food options from both grocery stores and restaurants delivered right to their door. And it picked Dallas as the launch city for its pilot program.
The company was founded by Chris Fanucchi, CEO, and Samantha Citro Alexander, CMO, because they saw a need in their own food habits and routines.
“Chris and I were inspired by our own food experiences,” Alexander says. “Chris spends weeks at a time on the road, which makes eating well challenging. I have been managing food allergies and dietary restrictions my whole life, which makes eating safely challenging.”
After trying out scores of food and nutrition apps, Alexander says they couldn’t easily find one that answered their primary question: How do I find the right food near me?
“So, Bitewell was born. It’s not a food delivery app, and it’s not a dieting platform. It’s essentially a healthy food marketplace that connects you with the right foods for your body nearby,” she says. “Our platform allows users to make better food choices throughout their day by tying customized recommendations, such as ‘what should I eat for lunch?,’ to deliverable food options near you, such as restaurant meals, groceries, pantry items and more.”
The main differentiator, Alexander says, is that traditional food delivery apps optimize for convenience. Bitewell optimizes for health by connecting people with restaurant meals, grocery items, recipes and meal kits. They also aim to offer more accurate nutrition information from suppliers that will be validated by each city’s dedicated dietician.
“Our secret sauce, pun intended, is the [artificial intelligence]-driven personalization that connects you to the right food for your body,” she says.
The onboarding process for Bitewell is extremely simple. On average, it takes only a few minutes for a person to get set up, potentially saving hours on meal prep and planning throughout a normal week. During the setup process, the app guides users through a few questions to optimize what its AI recommends. This includes allergies and dietary restrictions, food preferences, fitness routines, and personal goals, such as whether you’re seeking to simply eat smarter and healthier or have specific fitness goals, such as building muscle.
Over time, the app learns your behaviors to even better target items based on your preferences. Hate cilantro? It will learn to weed out items that contain the herb.
According to Bitewell’s research, Americans have access to more than 50,000 food choices every day, and North Texas locals are helping shape the future of the app.
“We chose Dallas as our launch city because it’s a great market, from both a supply and demand perspective, to pilot an idea like Bitewell. On the supply side, Dallas has an incredibly diverse food scene with tons of options. On the demand side, Dallas has a population that is trying to balance convenience, food enjoyment and health,” Alexander says. “It doesn’t hurt that our lead dietitian and I live here, too.”
After the pilot program concludes this spring, it will officially launch in Dallas over the summer. After that, Chicago.
“Our piloters have been more engaged than we could have possibly imagined, and they’re committed to helping us build the best platform possible. They’ve helped us identify important features like real-time tracking, supply gaps and countless bugs that are par for the course with any new tech.”
To learn more about Bitewell or take part in the platform’s pilot stage, visit www.bitewell.com and create a new account. Preview the app’s launch features here.