The Mealplanner Europe Oy
At The MealPlanner, we believe that nutrition is medicine.
To be able to live healthier lives, we need to include proper nutrition as an integral part of medical treatment, but most importantly as the core element of disease prevention.
Diet related diseases – a major problem in the 21th century
The MealPlanner is a team of passionate nutritionists, medical experts and culinary chefs believing that many of our 21st century diseases are caused by malnutrition. In the course of the last few decades our lifestyle has changed, but the food we consume and the way we eat it has also changed dramatically. Due to those changes, every 5th person in the western world suffers from diabetes or pre-diabetes. Every 10th person has high blood pressure, and almost every 3rd person suffers from some kind of food allergies or intolerances.
These same health issues are now also shifting to the developing countries. We are exporting them to India, Southern Asia and Africa along with our ways of living. The highest rate of diabetes now comes from those countries. If we don’t change our way of dieting, in 2030 every 3rd child will have diabetes, and many children will not survive their parents.
In addition to its’ global scope, malnutrition is also a very complex problem. There are many methods of dieting aimed at feeling better, becoming healthier or losing weight, but no single method to solve all problems. In fact, a large majority of diet attempts fail to reach their target.
At The MealPlanner, we want to solve these problems with the help of technology and the science of nutrition, behavior and body metabolism.
Our founder Sophie Michelin was born in a family with 4 generations of women living together in Budapest. Cooking was a daily activity by the grandmother and great-grandmother. For them, Sunday lunches together with the family were a normal thing. Cooking a clarified meat soup for 3-5 hours for lunch was an easy, weekly thing. They hardly took any medication, as the women in the family knew what to eat, and generally they were hardly ill or overweight.
After traveling and living in different countries and moving to Finland, Sophie realized that what is absolutely normal in Central & Eastern Europe or the South, isn’t at all that common in countries like the US, the UK or the Nordics, i.e. the countries from where most of the diet related problems come. She was also shocked to find out that many sicknesses, such as a simple flu or depression was usually treated with expensive medication with sometimes unclear efficiency. Perhaps this could be avoided with proper nutrition? This was the core reason why she wanted to start The MealPlanner, to help people know how to cook healthy food for themselves, their children and their families.
The MealPlanner is born.
Sophie started to build a team around that philosophy. First with diet experts and product owners, then an in-house well-designed IT & product development team. And finally a sales & marketing team with a long term objective to make changes globally.
The team quickly realized that to make changes it’s not enough to create consumer health-apps to make people follow healthy and preventive diets. This would take a lot of time and large investments in marketing, and the result would still be uncertain. Instead, the disruption should be done top-down, starting from the corporate and regulatory level. Since then,
The MealPlanner is actively present at many health events to speak about and promote the importance of merging Healthcare and FoodTech, and integrating food into medicine. For example, they were selected to participate on the European HealthTech Investment Forum in Helsinki, as well as the Future of Healthcare in London.
In Asia, the doctor traditionally gets paid when the patient is healthy. The healthcare system is designed to emphasize illness prevention. It is in the best interest of the doctor to have healthy patients. In contrast, in the Western world people start to pay their doctors only after getting sick. Visit after visit, with lab tests adding to the bill. The financial interest of the healthcare system is to keep the patient sick.
Developed countries such as Finland are now in the process of rethinking their whole healthcare system. One of the most significant changes is to reform occupational healthcare and private clinics offerings. Instead of paying for a visit when the employee is ill, companies pay a monthly fee for each employee (for example Heltti works like this). This way, the clinic prefers remote treatment, and will focus more on preventive measures. The change will come from the regulative level, turning the whole private healthcare sector upside down . Competition will increase, and the winners will be those healthcare providers who digitize quicker and create more prevention and remote based services. Prevention is equal to a healthy lifestyle, i.e. nutrition + physical & mental balance. Without proper nutrition there is no prevention. And at this moment there are really few technology companies who are capable of offering their solution for private healthcare providers. The MealPlanner is one of those few.