From Small Company to Nutrition API Powerhouse: Developer Outreach as the Great Equalizer
A young and vibrant startup, FoodEssentials has been able to perform on par with big-name enterprises in the health space via a solid API platform, marketing its API as a product, and effective developer engagement.
FoodEssentials transforms raw food label information to assign additive, allergen, ingredient, and nutrient properties to each product, making up the most comprehensive database of its kind. In an age of mobile health, where 52 percent of smartphone owners gather health information from their phones, the stage was set for FoodEssentials to shine, so the company explored ways it could externalize its API. When the company first introduced its LabelAPI to a group of developers, “we found that people had a hard time understanding the API and how it worked,” says Anton Xavier, co-founder and CEO at FoodEssentials.
Uncovering New Marketing Methods + Sprinting to Success
For FoodEssentials, timing was critical – the company had signed on to demo at the Health 2.0 Code-a-thon, just six weeks away. The company sought a solution to not only package and present the API in a way that would lower the barrier to entry, but also best practices to establishing itself as a solid, trusted brand. “Mashery stood out in our eyes, offering a vast network of developers, as well as support at hackathons and co-marketing at events,” says Xavier. FoodEssentials purchased Mashery Developer Outreach services, which guided FoodEssentials to getting its developer portal up and running by providing a complete DX (developer experience) audit.
FoodEssentials’ demo at Health 2.0 went so well, the company became a part of Aetna’s CarePass ecosystem of health APIs. The biggest stage for LabelAPI would be the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference. “Circus Mashimus was a real hot spot, and we were able to create a lot of excitement about what we’re doing with our API alongside big brands,” says Xavier. “We wouldn’t have been represented half as well had we not been pushed to excel by the Mashery team.” After just one year, FoodEssentials receives 120 times more API calls and nearly 100 percent fewer inbound customer service inquiries since the DX audit, allowing the company to redeploy resources to building and improving its product.