SnapDish: A Food Photo App From Japan Trying to Stand Out From the Crowd


snapdishHere’s an interesting food photo app from Japan that is trying to stand out from the crowd in that space. SnapDish ( is a free iPhone application that allows users to take pictures of food, record the location, price and other meta data, and share via your preferred social networks. How is SnapDish any different than the other food apps currently available? I spoke to representative Hidetaka Fukushima to find out a little more.

First of all, where did you get the idea for SnapDish?

Many people like to share their delicious and enjoyable moments with friends, family or ‘gourmet friends’ regardless of which restaurant they had it in or what recipe it is. An easy snap may be enough for everyday food, but with food for special occasions people want to share what kind of food it is, when they had it, where they had it, and with whom they had it with.

There wasn’t an app for that. Facebook, Twitter or Mixi doesn’t do the job, nor do any of the other food photo apps around.

Many good food photos are already stored in the camera rolls of peoples’ smartphones but they haven’t been shared with the right people. If they’re shared with the right people, they can enjoy these photos and information.

If this spreads across the world, people will be able to find the local food that local people really love anywhere in the world. We want to create a platform that evolves around food photos and lets us share our ‘delicious’ moments with the world.

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Are there others on the SnapDish team besides yourself?

Yes. SnapDish is run by Vuzz Inc. and there are currently six main members working on SnapDish.

Zen Funada, the CEO who founded the company and came up with the idea and planned the application. Fumikazu Kiyota, the CTO, developed the product. I am in charge of business development and all things English. One person has joined us recently and is taking care of finance and funding issues. Another freelance developer and designer is also helping out. There are some more people who have helped us out with small stuff along the way.

We work out of a small apartment in Nerima [Tokyo] and all of the people involved have worked on a voluntary basis for no pay or fee.

How big is your user base so far?

We released it on May 25th and we’re at about 21,000 users, 13,000 in Japanese and 8,000 in English. In two months we’ve collected 68,000 photos which means each user has contributed an average of more than three photos.

Our highest rank on the App store for free photo apps was fourth in Japan, seventh in Taiwan, and 11th in China.

Is there a revenue model? Do you have any investors?

snapdish-screenshotWe aren’t making any revenue yet. However, we have tons of ideas in the box and will be testing them gradually as our user base grows. To name a few, collaborations or sponsorships with the food industry and restaurant directory services, and selling marketing data for the food and beverage industry.

Next week we will be collaborating with a recipe contest campaign in which the 10 best-looking recipes posted will have them actually put on the menu for an a izakaya chain. We will be helping the contest gather photos from our app and user base. There aren’t any other services that gather food photos of home cooked recipes.

[As for investors,] we are in talks with several VC’s.

Who are you competitors and what makes you different?

[W]e are often compared to “Foodspotting” but we are quite different. There are many other food photo sharing services that are centered around restaurants. Many of [those] services are for dining out, usually for restaurants and their menus. They are based around a restaurant directory with the business inevitably charging from them.

We are purely a food photo sharing service so food cooked at home or even veggies growing in your garden can be the subject. This means that the user has more of a chance to use the app frequently, at least two to three times a day.

There wasn’t wasn’t an social app out there that did any food, whether it be from a restaurant or food cooked at home. None of them shared photos of food with additional information such as what kind of food it is, where they had it, with whom they had it.

The app is purely about taking the personal eating experience [and making it] social.

The app has filters to make your food photo look good with a professional touch, made to look as if they’ve been taken using an SLR. This is another feature that makes us different.

Do you have any future plans to share? An Android app maybe?

We have been releasing updates every week since our release and will add the ‘explore’ feature in our next release. This feature lets you find photos from locations surrounding you.

We have many people asking for an Android version and are seriously considering developing one.

There are other events in the coming month that can’t be talked about at this point so I will keep you updated as soon as they happen.

You can download SnapDish for free from the app store.

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