“Individuals have not been a focus to date,” Kush Mahan, ZoneIn’s co-founder and CEO, told NutraIngredients-USA. “Up until now we haven’t prioritized D2C, but we’re launching for individuals at the end of April.
“Right now, people are very focused on health and wellness. It’s a really good time to help people at home,” he added.
The ZoneIn platform uses biometric and training goal data to calculate and suggest meals and drinks throughout the day.
“We spent two to three years building a way to fill the gaps in sports nutrition and hydration,” said Mahan. “The app provides a way to stay on top of performance and on top of their health.”
ZoneIn was being used by about 7,000 athletes in the 2019-20 season, mostly college and youth athletes and including teams at Columbia University, The University of Maryland, Cornell, and NYU. Major League Soccer franchise New York City FC is also a client, said Mahan.
The platform provides a dashboard and provides a meal plan, built using data from USDA and other validated, aggregated public data sources, he said.
Coaches can build their team schedule (practices and competitions) via a coach dashboard, and updates are automatically sent to each team member when the coach uploads the schedule, and the app adjusts all of the nutrition and hydration recommendations.
Focusing on carbohydrates, calories, protein, and hydration, the platform is designed to ‘suggest’ meals that meet specific macronutrient needs of each user, and also includes options if an athlete goes to a restaurant.
A subscription to ZoneIn starts around $120 per year, said Mahan.
The team is now working on the ability to plan a grocery list making it easier for athletes to plan their food consumption and make grocery shopping more efficient. The databases can also incorporate data from supplements, so if an athlete is taking two scoops of pea protein every day, that gets factored in by the algorithm, said Mahan.
Personalization is a hot topic in the food and nutrition category, with personalization services being launched by GNC and Vitamin Shoppe last year, and companies like Nestlé Health Science adding Persona to its Atrium Innovations portfolio. Other supplement companies like DSM and Nature’s Way are investing in the space.
On the Sports Nutrition side, players such as InsideTracker and Nutrigenomix are using blood and genetic markers to help inform nutritional intake and Mahan sees these companies as complementary partners and not competitors for ZoneIn.
ZoneIn’s advisor network
Ben Velazquez, Strength and conditioning coach for NHL, NBA, MLB, and NFL athletes.
Dr. Robby Sikka, Director of Data Analytics for the Mayo Clinic. VP of Performance, Minnesota Timberwolves.
Colleen Carrion, Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Maryland.
Dave Endres, Co-founder of SPEAR Physical Therapy. Injury prevention consultant for the New York Knicks and Rangers.
Marques Colston, Super Bowl Winner and New Orleans Saints' all-time franchise leader in receiving yards, receptions, and touchdowns.
Brittney Sykes, Member of the USA Basketball Women's National Team, and guard on the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream.
Samyr Laine, Participant in the 2012 Olympics, and Six World Championships (triple-jump).
Antonio Freeman, First-team All-Pro Wide Receiver for the Green Bay Packers, and Super Bowl Winner.