Meet Rachel Hartley, Co-Founder of Nutracheck

Tell us about Nutracheck?

Nutracheck is the UK’s leading calorie and nutrient tracking app, co-founded by Tim Vryenhoef, Paul Cookson and Rachel Hartley. When we launched 18 years ago in 2005, we were the UK’s first mobile diet programme, winning start-up awards for innovation.

Looking back now, we see the idea was before its time as the App Store and iPhone did not exist! Over the years, Nutracheck has evolved while remaining true to the original vision, making tracking your diet as fast and easy as possible.

Today the Nutracheck app scans barcodes to instantly find products in our UK food database of over 430,000 products with photos, and users can track calories, fat, saturated fat carbs, protein, sugar, fibre and salt. The team behind it has grown from the three founding directors to 31 amazing people, and we’ve won many awards for best health and fitness app, fastest growth and excellent customer service.

‘Life changing’ is a word that comes up frequently in app store reviews. Over the years I have had the privilege of meeting in person some of the thousands of people who have achieved remarkable results using the app. It gives us huge satisfaction and motivation as a team to know we are making a positive difference in people’s lives.

A big development for us as a business came last year when we were acquired by Immediate Media, one of the leading content and platform companies in the UK, and home to the biggest food media portfolio, including BBC Good Food and Olive. Their focus on healthy eating and recipes offer natural synergies to our own content, alongside a food-conscious audience offering a huge potential increase in reach.



What makes Nutracheck unique?

We stand out in the UK app market with our longevity, an extensive all-UK food database with photos, and our obsession with detail in our app features.

Despite the evolving digital landscape over the past 18 years, we’ve adapted to the highly competitive health and fitness app category.

Our unique selling point is our UK food database, verified and updated hourly by our data team. This distinguishes us from so many US-focused competitors in our category. And we’ve added photos of food to make searches faster and more accurate for users.

We prioritise customer feedback, incorporating it into our continuous development of new features and app enhancements. With a dedicated UK customer care team available seven days a week, we remain focused on supporting our members.

How has Nutracheck evolved over the past couple of years?

Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen accelerated growth in our subscriber base. Aside from the ‘Covid effect’ when people were looking for health and fitness apps, word-of-mouth referral is a big driver for us – the high App Store rating of 4.8 and Trust Pilot 4.9 show the level of satisfaction from users.

Following the acquisition by Immediate we were able to access their huge subscriptions know how as the leading publisher for print subscriptions. We’ve worked closely with the central teams to take advantage of marketing opportunities that have enabled us to reach a massive audience, driving new subscriptions and revenue.

We’ve also tapped into Immediate’s publishing expertise to launch our first digital magazine for members – Healthy Balance. Plus we’ve added new high-quality content for our users by making Good Food’s database of healthy recipes available in the Nutracheck app.

Scaling a service can be a challenge, but it is one we’ve navigated successfully as a team – both technically and from the customer support side.

People are much more aware of the importance of looking after themselves to stay healthy and age well, the link between nutrition and health is undisputed.

Nutracheck is like the ‘Swiss army knife’ for dietary management! We cater for various goals such as nutrient monitoring, diabetes management, and overall healthier eating for weight loss or gain. We consistently enhance the app with new features, focusing on what we call ‘quality of life improvements’ to meet the diverse needs of our users.

What can we hope to see from Nutracheck in the future?

We understand the power of social support and community for people on a weight loss or health journey. The Nutracheck app has always had a community (when we first launched the only social platform was Facebook!). Enabling our members to connect and support each other will play an important role in the future.

Furthermore, Nutracheck is an ‘evergreen’ service, and we want to become an essential tool in people’s lives – their tried and trusted ‘go to’ for keeping their diet in check.

In the world of nutrition, we are continually learning, so our task is to stay close to the research and anticipate how it will shape our sector and what users will want in the future.

We will keep evolving to ensure that Nutracheck continues as a critical tool in helping people achieve their health and weight goals.