CNN’s Matthew Chance spoke with Lara Rettig , founder of ShareTheMeal , about her two-year journey to proving that buying healthy is really easy.
If you’re wondering how you’ll get to work on any given Monday morning after your good party, this is why: @ sharethemeal . Lara Rettig talks about how her 20s gave way to her Master’s degree and a New York career as part of #CNNTODAYHeroes: https://t.co/ZrgRBHHtuZ pic.twitter.com/ghcsriLMgd — CNN (@CNN) July 30, 2020
CNN’s Matthew Chance spoke with Lara Rettig, founder of ShareTheMeal, about her two-year journey to proving that buying healthy is really easy.
The inspiration for ShareTheMeal arose from her own heartbreak.
“I was dating a really healthy guy,” Rettig said, and then one day, his heart suddenly stopped beating. “I said to myself, ‘I want to have my children’s [play] dates, to eat dinner with him, all that stuff.’”
But her past failing “brought a lot of anxiety,” and dieting didn’t help. Instead, Rettig started experimenting with non-food snacks, going from peanut butter sticks to apple butters and taco lollipops.
She carried that process through her 20s into her 30s and finally put her career on hold to go to grad school in economics.
At some point, Rettig had to get out of her own way: “I realized it was all going on. I wasn’t making much sense to my friends.”
She became interested in big data and trends, but Rettig had a hard time finding ways to measure whether healthier habits on her plate made a difference in her well-being.
“It had to become easier to log what I eat,” she said. “There’s a responsibility to track what you’re eating and track it before you eat it. It’s really easy, and I think that’s what everyone needs to do.”
ShareTheMeal tried both an iOS and Android app. In November 2012, the company launched with an open invitation for people to log calories, soft drinks and foods.
“We went into the iOS app and there were six users, and they were all really active,” Rettig said. “They were loving it. But we got on Android, and it was so frustrating to find people.”
After a year of testing, ShareTheMeal decided to launch on both platforms simultaneously, with ShareTheMeal apps turning a profit immediately, allowing the company to pay its founders and six staff members.
“We started focusing on things that people could do themselves, because that’s where the volume of usage is,” Rettig said. “People also get more use out of it because you can also add a photo for your personalized information.”
“Our goal is to reinvent our world by providing people the keys to being more intentional, in terms of what they eat,” Rettig said. “There are so many opportunities for improvement in everyday life. We want to show people how easy it can be.”
“In order to do that, we have to create a platform to help people connect and share that effort,” she said. “If you can make it easier, you’ll create the habit.”
Download ShareTheMeal’s iOS app here or Android app here.