New Japanese mobile app promotes fun dinner conversation



Japanese internet conglomerate, the company behind price comparison site and restaurant review site Tabelog, has just released a new food app called Gochi Reco.

There are other food apps out there, but what differentiates Gochi Reco from the rest is that it is used only among a few family members (which are pre-set at the time of registration). Many families exchange emails everyday about what’s for dinner, what time they’re coming home, and whether there’s any grocery shopping to do. However, according to a study conducted by a marketing research company Macromill, almost half of wives cooking for husbands have felt some hostility towards them because of their comments on food. Gochi Reco is focused on making this sort of everyday food-focused communication a little more fun.


Using the app, family members can exchange ideas about the dinner menu, or even take a photo of what they had as a record. The designated chef of the household can ask for what dishes other members prefer, and they can respond by sharing their preferences. On the ‘recipe’ tab, there are many recipes from other homes which you can propose to your family from within the app. For every recipe, there is an “add to shopping list” button, where all necessary ingredients are added to your shopping list.

I would have imagined that Cookpad, the biggest recipe portal in Japan, would release an app like this. And in fact, the company did release an iOS app a while back called Omusubi Ken (‘omusubi’ means ‘rice balls’ in Japanese). The app allows its users to nurture a puppy that lives in your virtual kitchen by posting photos of home cooked meals. By posting more often, you receive clothes for your puppy and can even redecorate your kitchen.

The approach of enhancing communication among families around dinner is an approach we haven’t seen yet. If you’d like to try it out, Gochi Reco is available both on iOS and on Android.

Other popular food apps in Japan include Snapdish, which we’ve covered in the past. It works like a social network for exchanging photos and recipes for home cooked meals. A whopping 70% of the photos shared in the app are cooked at home.

Another food photo app, Miil, has 300,000 downloads since its initial release back in 2011. You can read more about Miil in a past article.