Welcome to Open Information for Meals!

The goal is to create a way to create open data about menus, ingredients, nutritional values and allergens in a consistent way. We want to make it as easy as possible to reuse the information. We are hoping that the specification will be used by many not only in Sweden as to make using the information fun and easy.

The specification and other information for how to create open meal information can be found on this webpage and as it is on Github anyone can fork and develop it. There are two implementations of the specification:

  • An API with the full data set in JSON format
  • iCalendar with a subset of the information. The calendar-feed can be used by smartphones and pads as well as other calendar software to subscribe to the information.

Questions and suggestions can be sent to andreas.krohn@helsingborg.se.


This is an example of an iCalendar feed available for subscription for the school ”Bruket” in Örebro, Sweden. The page is in swedish but the subscription link is called ”Kalender” and is located in the menu on the left. Copy the link for use in your calendar software or just click it, most devices will ask you if you want to subscribe. This is what it will look like on an ipad:

The History

The open meal information project was started by 3 municipalities in Sweden - Helsingborg, Linköping and Örebro. The goal was to make sure all municipalities in Sweden shared information about meals as menus in the same way so it would be easier to reuse. The goal was to create open data.

After first trying and failing to find an existing specification for sharing the information they decided to create one of their own. The first version of the specification was very basic and was not published on github.

For the second part of the project the municipality of Örebro sought and got funds from VINNOVA, Swedens innovation agency, to create an expanded specification including the original menu but also ingredients, nutritional values and allergens. The project ran from november 2014 thru june 2015 and involved the municipality och Örebro, Dopter AB represented by Andreas Krohn and Mashie AB, the supplier och the system for planing meals at the municipality, represented by Erik Arnwald and Jörgen Brandt.

The goal was to create an open specification that could be used by all suppliers of systems for planning meals and delivering menus and to keep it as small as possible as to not create unnecessary overhead for suppliers. The project delivered an specification for delivering the content as JSON and another as iCal for use with electronic calendars.

One motivation for this project was to create a proof-of-concept for solving one of the problems identified by the national coordination of municipal open data headed by SKL (an organisation for cooperation run by the municipalities) namely that open data published by 290 municipalities in 290 different ways will be very hard to reuse. Since the value of open data is realized in the reuse this aspect is critical in achieving the desired effects (new and better services and transparency in government).


All data available via the Open Meal API is published under Creative Commons Zero, which give the consumer of the data full rights to modify the data and use it for commercial purposes.