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Running a Successful Wellness Beverage Brand Featuring Angela Zeng, Karviva

How do you provide wellness through healthy drinks — and run a successful brand?

More people want to consume healthier foods and beverages — and it’s up to entrepreneurs to leverage this. Angela Zeng believes that earth has provided us with an abundance of simple, natural, and nutritious plant-based ingredients — not just to sustain life, but to help it flourish. With this in mind, Angela started her beverage brand to take care of people in a natural way. Now, she’s sharing the challenges and lessons she has learned while running her company.

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, host Diana Fryc sits down with Angela Zeng, Founder and CEO of Karviva, to discuss her entrepreneurial journey running a successful, healthy beverage brand. Angela explains where the idea for Karviva came from, how to manage food waste, the challenges and lessons she learned maneuvering a young, growing brand in the beverage industry, and the impacts of veganism and plant-based foods on the American diet.

In this episode we learn: 

  • Angela Zeng talks about Karviva and what it stands for
  • Angela explains where the Karviva product idea came from
  • Angela talks about food waste, how to solve this problem, and what people should know about low-carb diets
  • How Angela knew that she was headed in the right direction
  • Angela’s experience maneuvering a young, growing brand within the beverage industry
  • Generational differences in driving innovation and running businesses
  • The impacts of veganism and plant-based foods on the American diet
  • Angela shares a fun fact about postbiotics
Gooder Podcast

Running a Successful Wellness Beverage Brand Featuring Angela Zeng, Karviva

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About Angela Zeng

Angela Zeng is the Founder and CEO of Karviva, a wellness beverage brand. Angela has over 17 years of experience within the functional beverage and juice industry. Her passion for natural healing is rooted in her strong belief in traditional Chinese medicine and herbal sciences. Angela’s heritage and passion for Eastern medicine, combined with her education and experience in modern medical research, motivated her to create something new for consumers.

LinkedIn Leigh Keith : https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelazeng1/

Website : https://karviva.com/

Show Resources: 

This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo

Retail Voodoo has been building beloved and dominant brands in the food, wellness, beverage, and fitness CPG industries for over 30 years. They’ve served multinational companies like PepsiCo. and Starbucks, startups like High Key, and everything in between. 

Their proven process guides hundreds of mission-driven consumer brands to attract a broad and passionate fan base, crush their categories through growth and innovation, and magnify their social and environmental impact. 

So, if you are ready to find a partner that will help your business create a high-impact strategy that gives your brand an advantage, Retail Voodoo is here to help.

Visit retail-voodoo.com or email info@retail-voodoo.com to learn more.

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

Connect with Diana
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How To Succeed in the Refrigerated Snacks Space Featuring Leigh Keith, Perfect Snacks

Do you have what it takes to succeed in the refrigerated snacks sector? At age 19, Leigh Keith started Perfect Snacks with her family. Now, they’ve revolutionized the billion-dollar protein category. How did they do it?

Leigh shares the journey of how Perfect Snacks managed to be successful in creating fresh, grab-and-go snacking options. She says that to succeed in this space, you have to be passionate and expect challenges but have a mindset that every misstep is taking you somewhere.

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, host Diana Fryc sits down with Leigh Keith, the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Perfect Snacks, to discuss the entrepreneurial journey as a successful refrigerated snacks brand. Leigh talks about Perfect Snacks and some of the challenges of running a business as a young person, their acquisition by Mondelēz International, leadership strategies, and her advice to other entrepreneurs.

In this episode we learn: 

  • Leigh Keith talks about Perfect Snacks and what it stands for
  • Leigh shares what worked and didn’t work for her when running the business at age 19
  • Leigh explains what failure means
  • How Leigh knew that they were headed in the right direction
  • Where did the name “Perfect Bar” come from?
  • Mistakes that were pivotal to the success of Perfect Bar
  • Leigh talks about their acquisition by Mondelēz International
  • How Leigh’s upbringing and current work environment influence her leadership style
  • Mentors that were instrumental to Leigh’s success
  • Leigh’s advice to other entrepreneurs — and what’s next for Perfect Snacks
  • Women leaders Leigh admires
Gooder Podcast

How To Succeed in the Refrigerated Snacks Space Featuring Leigh Keith, Perfect Snacks

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About Leigh Keith

Leigh Keith is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Perfects Snacks, which makes fresh-from-the-fridge protein snacks out of love for optimal health, fitness, and nutrition. Leigh has remained steadfast in building healthy communities from the inside out. In July of 2019, Perfect Snacks gained a majority interest acquisition from Mondelēz International, the global snacking leader. Leigh and Perfect Snacks have been awarded the NEXTY Award from New Hope media, and San Diego Magazine also named Leigh a Woman of the Year finalist.

LinkedIn Leigh Keith : https://www.linkedin.com/in/leigh-keith-11b7b726/

Website : https://perfectsnacks.com/

Show Resources: 

This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo

Retail Voodoo has been building beloved and dominant brands in the food, wellness, beverage, and fitness CPG industries for over 30 years. They’ve served multinational companies like PepsiCo. and Starbucks, startups like High Key, and everything in between. 

Their proven process guides hundreds of mission-driven consumer brands to attract a broad and passionate fan base, crush their categories through growth and innovation, and magnify their social and environmental impact. 

So, if you are ready to find a partner that will help your business create a high-impact strategy that gives your brand an advantage, Retail Voodoo is here to help.

Visit retail-voodoo.com or email info@retail-voodoo.com to learn more.

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

Connect with Diana
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How to Successfully Run a For-Good, For-Profit Brand Featuring Suz Hernandez, MamaP

If we take care of Mother Earth, in turn, she’ll take care of us. So, how do you promote affordable and eco-friendly products?

After becoming aware of the lack of options in the eco-friendly product space, Suz Hernandez founded MamaP. She shares their journey, challenges, and the lessons they’ve learned running MamaP to encourage other brands that it is possible to have a for-good, for-profit brand that’s eco-friendly. Suz believes that together, people have the power to make a difference and put Mother Earth first.

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, host Diana Fryc sits down with Suz Hernandez, the Founder and CEO of MamaP, to discuss ways to successfully run an eco-friendly brand. Suz explains the reasons why MamaP exists as a for-good, for-profit brand, the challenges and lessons they’ve learned, and how they’re growing and creating change.

In this episode we learn: 

  • Suz Hernandez talks about MamaP, why it exists, and where the idea came from
  • Suz talks about their disposable products and how to discard them 
  • Suz explains how she knew that she was headed in the right direction 
  • How Suz became a socialpreneur
  • Challenges MamaP has faced that changed its trajectory
  • How Suz has leveraged past experiences to overcome some of the challenges they’ve faced as a brand 
  • Suz’s proudest milestone in the company
  • Suz’s advice to other leaders 
  • A surprising fact about plastic toothbrushes
  • Women leaders Suz admires
Gooder Podcast

How to Successfully Run a For-Good, For-Profit Brand Featuring Suz Hernandez, MamaP

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About Suz Hernandez

Suzan (Suz) Hernandez is the Founder and CEO at MamaP, a CPG brand that strives to make Mama Earth proud by offering affordable, eco-friendly alternatives to everyday products in beauty, health, and home goods. Coupled with an MBA from Indiana University and work experience at leading companies like Nike and P&G, Suz has a passion and drive for blending consumer products with purpose, sustainability, and design. Suz is leading the vision, product innovation, and go-to-market for MamaP. MamaP is a triple bottom-line company — focusing on people, planet, and then profits.

LinkedIn Suzan Hernandez : https://www.linkedin.com/in/suzan-hernandez-204b65b/

Website : https://mamap.life/

Show Resources: 

This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo

Retail Voodoo has been building beloved and dominant brands in the food, wellness, beverage, and fitness CPG industries for over 30 years. They’ve served multinational companies like PepsiCo. and Starbucks, startups like High Key, and everything in between. 

Their proven process guides hundreds of mission-driven consumer brands to attract a broad and passionate fan base, crush their categories through growth and innovation, and magnify their social and environmental impact. 

So, if you are ready to find a partner that will help your business create a high-impact strategy that gives your brand an advantage, Retail Voodoo is here to help.

Visit retail-voodoo.com or email info@retail-voodoo.com to learn more.

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

Connect with Diana
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Fueling the Path To Feeling Better Featuring Tara Staten, Bulletproof

Want to provide healthy food and beverage options? Do you have what it takes to push the boundaries in this field?

Marketing Director at Bulletproof, Tara Staten, shares her entrepreneurial journey of how they challenge the nutrition norms to create healthy products that help people live their best lives. She shares her leadership style, challenges, and lessons she has learned in leading a successful CPG brand. Don’t miss out!

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, host Diana Fryc sits down with Tara Staten, the Marketing Director at Bulletproof, to discuss ways to run a healthy, successful food and beverage brand. Tara explains the lessons she has learned that have contributed to her success, the leadership style she uses and how it has evolved with time, the importance of having mentors, and advice to leaders.

In this episode we learn: 

  • Tara Staten talks about Bulletproof, why it exists, and her role there
  • Tara shares her entrepreneurial journey and when she realized she was headed in the right direction
  • Lessons Tara learned that contributed to her success
  • Tara explains her leadership style and how it has evolved with time
  • Mentors that have helped Tara in her journey to success
  • Tara’s proudest milestones in the company and what’s next for Bulletproof
  • Tara’s advice to other leaders
  • Fun facts Tara learned while working at Bulletproof
  • Women leaders Tara admires
Gooder Podcast

Fueling the Path To Feeling Better Featuring Tara Staten, Bulletproof

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About Tara Staten

Tara Staten is the Marketing Director at Bulletproof, where they believe that the right nutrients can help you tap into your potential. By creating products that fuel a path to greatness, Bulletproof helps you feel your best every day. Tara’s passion for delighting customers with better-for-you products motivated her to lead microbiology lab work to develop and market new products in the fast-paced CPG world.

LinkedIn Tara Staten : https://www.linkedin.com/in/tara-staten-85a4944/

Website : https://www.bulletproof.com/

Show Resources: 

This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo

Retail Voodoo has been building beloved and dominant brands in the food, wellness, beverage, and fitness CPG industries for over 30 years. They’ve served multinational companies like PepsiCo. and Starbucks, startups like High Key, and everything in between. 

Their proven process guides hundreds of mission-driven consumer brands to attract a broad and passionate fan base, crush their categories through growth and innovation, and magnify their social and environmental impact. 

So, if you are ready to find a partner that will help your business create a high-impact strategy that gives your brand an advantage, Retail Voodoo is here to help.

Visit retail-voodoo.com or email info@retail-voodoo.com to learn more.

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

Connect with Diana
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Intrapreneurship in the Veggies-As-Snacks Industry Featuring Katrina Borisjuk, Dirt Kitchen Snacks

Want to maintain a healthy lifestyle by snacking on veggies? Here’s how one intrapreneur is helping you do so.

With her love for veggies and passion to provide people with healthy options, Katrina Borisjuk founded Dirt Kitchen Snacks. She shares tips on how they came up with a healthy snacking brand of veggies within a multinational established big brand and how they overcame most of their challenges during the process. So, tune in and learn about intrapreneurship and how you can leverage the advantages you have as a startup in a big company. 

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, host Diana Fryc sits down with Katrina Borisjuk, the Senior Director of SnackFutures and Intrapreneurial Founder and Lead of Dirt Kitchen Snacks, to discuss her intrapreneurial journey in the healthy foods industry. Katrina explains the value of intrapreneurship and lessons she has learned, the process and challenges they faced launching a startup during the pandemic, and her advice to other entrepreneurs.

In this episode we learn: 

  • Katrina Borisjuk talks about Dirt Kitchen Snacks and why it exists
  • Katrina explains the value of intrapreneurship and lessons she has learned
  • Katrina talks about Dirt Kitchen Snacks’ path in the right direction
  • Challenges Katrina and the team faced launching a brand during the pandemic — and how they overcame them
  • How experience in a multinational established big brand impacted Katrina’s startup process
  • Katrina’s advice to other entrepreneurs
  • What’s next for Dirt Kitchen?
  • What’s a fun fact about veggies?
  • Other women leaders that Katrina admires
Gooder Podcast

Intrapreneurship in the Veggies-As-Snacks Industry Featuring Katrina Borisjuk, Dirt Kitchen Snacks

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About Katrina Borisjuk

Katrina Borisjuk is the Senior Director of SnackFutures and Intrapreneurial Founder and Lead of Dirt Kitchen Snacks Brands, the first business launched under Mondelēz International’s Innovation and Venture hub. Dirt Kitchen Snacks is on a mission to make real veggies irresistibly snackable and help consumers get more veggies into their lives.

Katrina has been with Mondelēz International and its precursor Kraft Foods for over 15 years. Through several roles in the global growth organization, Katrina has had the privilege to travel the world, gaining consumer insights and international experience through project work across both developed and emerging markets, including Western Europe, Russia, China, and Mexico. Katrina’s current role as an intrapreneur has her growing a startup across both e-commerce and brick and mortar retail from the ground up. Prior to joining the food industry, Katrina worked in investment banking for Bear, Stearns, & Co. and Barnett & Partners LLC in New York.

LinkedIn Katrina Borisjuk : https://www.linkedin.com/in/katrina-borisjuk-08b7335/

Website : https://dirtkitchensnacks.com/

Show Resources: 

This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo

Retail Voodoo has been building beloved and dominant brands in the food, wellness, beverage, and fitness CPG industries for over 30 years. They’ve served multinational companies like PepsiCo. and Starbucks, startups like High Key, and everything in between. 

Their proven process guides hundreds of mission-driven consumer brands to attract a broad and passionate fan base, crush their categories through growth and innovation, and magnify their social and environmental impact. 

So, if you are ready to find a partner that will help your business create a high-impact strategy that gives your brand an advantage, Retail Voodoo is here to help.

Visit retail-voodoo.com or email info@retail-voodoo.com to learn more.

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

Connect with Diana
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Tips To Run a Healthy Social Venture Featuring Nina Tickaradze, NADI

Do you have what it takes to run a social entity and achieve its goals? Social ventures come with their challenges, but the benefits of helping communities far outweigh the difficulties.

Nina Tickaradze runs a social entity with a mission to create job opportunities for refugees, and at the same time, serve people with healthy product options. Through running this company, she has learned that all businesses need to be unique in terms of their products, have funds, and have a purpose if they want to be successful. Business leaders also need to be in entrepreneurial networks to learn and have the support they require.

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, host Diana Fryc is joined by Nina Tickaradze, the Founder and CEO of NADI, to discuss tips on how to successfully run a healthy social venture. Nina explains the challenges of running a social venture and lessons she has learned as a leader, the importance of being in an entrepreneurial group outside of your organization, and her advice to other women leaders.

In this episode we learn: 

  • Nina Tickaradze talks about NADI and why it exists
  • Nina explains the challenges of running a social venture whose goal is bigger than the financial rewards
  • Nina talks about NADI’s path in the right direction
  • NADI products and how they’re marketed to the average American consumer
  • Lessons Nina has learned as the leader of NADI
  • Nina explains the importance of being in an entrepreneurial group outside of your organization
  • Nina’s advice to other women leaders
  • What’s next for NADI?
  • Women leaders Nina admires
Gooder Podcast

Tips To Run a Healthy Social Venture Featuring Nina Tickaradze, NADI

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About Nina Tickaradze

Nina Tickaradze is the Founder and CEO of NADI, a certified women-owned enterprise and social venture with a mission to create jobs for displaced refugees. NADI produces organic juices and healthy snacks that are sold in organic grocery stores and supermarkets across the US. NADI’s products are inspired by ancient Georgian health traditions and old family recipes.

Nina is a native of the country of Georgia and was educated primarily in the United States. Nina is the Founder of the Georgia to Georgia Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes relationships between the state of Georgia and the country of Georgia. Nina is also the Co-chair of the Atlanta Tbilisi Sister City Committee and builds stronger business and cultural ties between Atlanta and its sister city of Tbilisi, which is the capital of Georgia. Nina is passionate about the ancient culture of the country of her birth and is an advocate for educating others about Georgia’s history, hospitality, and vibrant food and wine scene. Nina is a Certified Sommelier through the International Sommelier Guild.

LinkedIn Nina Tickaradze : https://www.linkedin.com/in/ninatickaradze/

Website : http://www.getnadi.com/

Show Resources: 

This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo

Retail Voodoo has been building beloved and dominant brands in the food, wellness, beverage, and fitness CPG industries for over 30 years. They’ve served multinational companies like PepsiCo. and Starbucks, startups like High Key, and everything in between. 

Their proven process guides hundreds of mission-driven consumer brands to attract a broad and passionate fan base, crush their categories through growth and innovation, and magnify their social and environmental impact. 

So, if you are ready to find a partner that will help your business create a high-impact strategy that gives your brand an advantage, Retail Voodoo is here to help.

Visit retail-voodoo.com or email info@retail-voodoo.com to learn more.

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

Connect with Diana
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The Changing World of Allergens Featuring Catherine Jaxon, Mission MightyMe

Are your kids struggling with food allergies? Would you like to learn proven tips on how to prevent food allergies from infancy?

Food allergies are on a rise, especially in the United States. Studies show that about 50% of kids in the US have food allergies. As parents, how do you prevent these allergies? First, you need to know the types of allergen foods. Next, you have to figure out which food your child is allergic to. And finally, you need a solution. There are products being created to help you as a parent prevent food allergies from kids before it gets worse.

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, host Diana Fryc is joined by Catherine Jaxon, the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Mission MightyMe, to discuss ways parents can prevent food allergies in their children. Catherine explains the importance of introducing microdoses of the allergen foods into babies’ diets early, the types of allergen foods we have, and the products Mission MightyMe creates to help prevent food allergies.

In this episode we learn: 

  • Catherine Jaxon talks about Mission MightyMe and why it exists
  • Catherine explains the importance of introducing microdoses of the allergen foods into babies’ diets early
  • The types of allergen foods
  • What products does Mission MightyMe produce and how are they used to prevent food allergies?
  • Catherine talks about competition in the industry
  • What kind of initiatives does Mission MightyMe support?
  • Catherine explains their path in the right direction and the feedback from customers
  • What triggered Dr. Gideon Lack to do the LEAP study
  • Who was Catherine’s mentor and what other women leaders does she admire?
  • What’s next for Catherine and Mission MightyMe?
  • The brands and trends Catherine has her eyes on
Gooder Podcast

The Changing World of Allergens Featuring Catherine Jaxon, Mission MightyMe

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About Catherine Jaxon

Catherine Jaxon is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Mission MightyMe, a revolutionary food company on a mission to end the food allergy epidemic by making it easy for parents to include peanuts and other common food allergens in their babies’ diets early. Catherine is a mom of three, and her oldest daughter is allergic to most nuts. As a mom who knows what a burden food allergies can be, Catherine is passionate about helping other parents get proactive about preventing them. Prior to founding Mission MightyMe, Catherine was an award-winning journalist with CNN and is still an avid researcher and a journalist at heart.

LinkedIn Catherine Jaxon : https://www.linkedin.com/in/catherine-mitchell-jaxon-3b94bb48/

Website : https://missionmightyme.com/

Show Resources: 

This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo

Retail Voodoo has been building beloved and dominant brands in the food, wellness, beverage, and fitness CPG industries for over 30 years. They’ve served multinational companies like PepsiCo. and Starbucks, startups like High Key, and everything in between. 

Their proven process guides hundreds of mission-driven consumer brands to attract a broad and passionate fan base, crush their categories through growth and innovation, and magnify their social and environmental impact. 

So, if you are ready to find a partner that will help your business create a high-impact strategy that gives your brand an advantage, Retail Voodoo is here to help.

Visit retail-voodoo.com or email info@retail-voodoo.com to learn more.

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

Connect with Diana
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Do Third-Party Certifications Matter for Food & Beverage Brands?

I was recently talking shop with a friend who works for a retailer about how they choose new brands to carry. Off the cuff, she mentioned that the organization was questioning the value of certifications in their selection process.

Our conversation mirrored some thinking I’ve been doing about how certification applies to my own business.

So I thought I’d use this piece to process my own perspective and raise questions you might consider for your brand, as well.

Are Food & Beverage Brand Third-Party Certifications Worth It?

3 Types of Certifications for Food & Beverage Brands

First, let’s look at the different types of third-party credentials a food or beverage brand might carry. These endorsements are often represented by a graphic or logo on the product package.

1) Ingredient-related

Some marks represent information critical to a consumer’s choice of product — like gluten free or allergen free. Others indicate how ingredients are grown or made, such as USDA Organic, Certified Grassfed, Certified Biodynamic, or Non GMO.

2) Values-related

These certifications might correlate to sourcing issues like fair trade or animal welfare. Or they might reflect dietary or lifestyle values, like Whole30 Approved or Certified Vegan.

3) Business ownership-related

Increasingly, consumers want to buy from businesses whose founder/owners come from underrepresented communities. Brands can be certified as WOB (women-owned business), MBE (minority business enterprise), VOSB (veteran-owned small business), and the like.

In and of themselves, certifications are not bad. They were initially designed to be a shorthand to help consumers looking for particular need states or values to align with. Consumers will choose brands that align with the types of businesses they want to support, and they’ll find those brands through all the different channels: social media, websites, and product packaging.

Certifications and Brand Positioning

There are a lot of brands out there that start buying all the certifications and wind up with a Girl Scout sash full of badges on their boxes and bottles. These brands let the certifications do the heavy lifting of communication rather than focusing on positioning.

It’s a lazy marketing tactic, frankly, to stamp a Fair Trade logo on your carton if your brand isn’t full-on, end-to-end passionate about ensuring living wages and social justice for everyone involved in the production, transportation, selling, and consumption of your products. If your brand leans too heavily on third-party endorsements for credibility instead of being well-positioned within your category, you have a brand strategy problem. And it won’t be long before consumers sniff out the hypocrisy — and then move on to another brand that carries the same Fair Trade logo.

In other words, a slew of certifications that don’t reflect your brand’s true values puts you at risk of commodity status, easily replaced by another brand in the consumer’s mind.

The Trouble with Certifications

What really chaps my hide about third-party certifications for food and beverage brands is the pay-to-play nature of the whole thing. Securing these badges ain’t cheap. And I’m not just talking about the application fees.

Well-funded brands have all the resources it takes to secure a certification. That means researching and documenting ingredient sources. Aligning manufacturing with certification requirements. Auditing and reporting on practices. Getting legal guidance on corporate structure and governance.

But for small or emerging brands, even those passionate about a cause or aligned with a particular diet or free from allergens, the cost and time involved in getting certified is a major hurdle.

For our business, securing B-corp certification was a 4-year process that consumed a significant amount of staff time. We are now considering certification as a Woman-Owned Business, and we could probably buy a used car for what it will cost us in fees to attorneys who can advise us on the proper ownership structure for Retail Voodoo.

I get it: This whole vetting process exists because someone somewhere fudged about their ownership in order to get a chunk of business. But doesn’t it seem ludicrous that I need someone else to rubber-stamp that I’m an owner/operator of our firm? Or that a Black woman is the owner/operator of hers?

Which brings me back to my conversation with my friend in retail. Her organization is doubling down on sourcing from women-, minority-, and veteran-owned brands. It’s a commendable effort, for sure. However, their procurement process relies heavily on WOB, MBE, and VOSB certifications. And, she tells me, they’re realizing that those certifications present unintended biases and barriers for small businesses that don’t have the time or funding to jump through the hoops to obtain those acronyms. By filtering out non-certified brands, are they overlooking companies whose products deserve to be on the shelf? If you’re a Black-owned business and you have to pay for certification to verify it, is this yet another way that marginalized people have to prove their value?

Like I said, I agree that third-party certifications have value. They help consumers navigate a whole shelf full of options. They can warn people about ingredients that can impact their health. They help us find brands whose values align with ours. And they can elevate companies owned by historically disadvantaged people.

But I wonder: Have we created unforeseen roadblocks for the very companies we’re trying to lift up?I don’t have the answer. But I’d sure like to hear what you think. Let’s talk

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

Connect with Diana
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How To Run a Healthy Brand Featuring Sophia Maroon, Dress It Up Dressing

Dressings should be as healthy as your salad. So, where can you get clean, high-quality, classic-flavored dressings to whip up a delicious and healthy dish?

People need to understand what they are eating — if it’s healthy or not — and that includes the dressing they use on their salad. Sophia Maroon shares her entrepreneurial journey of how she started her dressing and marinades company to provide tips to entrepreneurs on how to run a successful business — and educate people about healthy eating.

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, host Diana Fryc is joined by Sophia Maroon, the Founder and CEO of Dress It Up Dressing, to discuss her entrepreneurial journey in making healthy dressings and marinades for salads. Sophia explains her 10-year journey of scaling Dress It Up Dressing and the mistakes she avoided, the kind of networks an entrepreneur should have to succeed, and her advice to entrepreneurs.

In this episode we learn: 

  • Sophia Maroon talks about Dress It Up Dressing and why it exists
  • How Sophia’s “messy life” influenced the genesis of her company
  • The 10-year journey of scaling Dress It Up Dressing
  • How Sophia realized they were moving in the right direction — and mistakes she avoided
  • Sophia’s proudest moment and milestone
  • How Sophia’s background in anthropology and filmmaking influence what she does now
  • What kind of networks should you have as an entrepreneur, and which entrepreneurs does Sophia admire?
  • Sophia’s advice to entrepreneurs
  • What’s next for Dress It Up Dressing
  • Sophia shares brands and trends she has her eyes on and why
Gooder Podcast

How To Run a Healthy Brand Featuring Sophia Maroon, Dress It Up Dressing

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About Sophia Maroon

Sophia Maroon is the Founder and CEO of Dress It Up Dressing, a company that offers olive oil-based dressings with gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, paleo, keto and Whole-30-friendly varieties. Since Sophia couldn’t find a salad dressing on the market that resembled homemade — and because her brother challenged her — she decided to create Dress It Up Dressing using her mother’s recipe. Sophia is also a filmmaker with three kids.

LinkedIn Sophia Maroon : https://www.linkedin.com/in/sophia-maroon-sofine/

Website : https://dressitupdressing.co/

Show Resources: 

This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo

Retail Voodoo has been building beloved and dominant brands in the food, wellness, beverage, and fitness CPG industries for over 30 years. They’ve served multinational companies like PepsiCo. and Starbucks, startups like High Key, and everything in between. 

Their proven process guides hundreds of mission-driven consumer brands to attract a broad and passionate fan base, crush their categories through growth and innovation, and magnify their social and environmental impact. 

So, if you are ready to find a partner that will help your business create a high-impact strategy that gives your brand an advantage, Retail Voodoo is here to help.

Visit retail-voodoo.com or email info@retail-voodoo.com to learn more.

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

Connect with Diana
all Insights

How To Drink Better and Drink Clean Featuring Donna Katz, G’s Hard Ginger Beer

Are you struggling to find healthy beverages that you can enjoy as a consumer? How can you have a great business catering to these needs as an entrepreneur? What tips can help you achieve these goals on both the consumer and producer side?

Many people nowadays are seeking transparency and cleaner alcohol options to support their active and healthier lifestyles. As an entrepreneur, you should view this as an opportunity to come up with a solution for them. That’s why Donna Katz shares her entrepreneurial journey, tips, and lessons she learned as an entrepreneur — and how people can stay healthy.

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, host Diana Fryc is joined by Donna Katz, the CEO and Founder of G’s Hard Ginger Beer, to discuss her entrepreneurial journey in beverages, specifically in the alcohol category. Donna talks about what inspired her to found G’s Hard Ginger Beer, the lessons she has learned developing the company, and the importance of growing through mentorship and industry networks.

In this episode we learn: 

  • Donna Katz talks about G’s Hard Ginger Beer and why it exists
  • Donna explains what influenced her love for agriculture and growing things organically
  • At what point did Donna realize that she was headed in the right direction and started getting traction?
  • Donna talks about the hospitality channel and if they’ll get their product there
  • Does ginger have the same benefit when mixed with alcohol in a better-for-you context?
  • Donna shares lessons learned from growing her company
  • How Donna gained mentorship and joined networks to grow her company
  • Donna’s proudest moments with her company
  • Donna’s advice for other entrepreneurs
  • What’s next for Donna and her company in the next 12 months?
  • Trends and brands Donna has her eyes on
Gooder Podcast

How To Drink Better and Drink Clean Featuring Donna Katz, G’s Hard Ginger Beer

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tunein
Deezer
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About Donna Katz

Donna Katz is the CEO and Founder of G’s Hard Ginger Beer, a company that crafts vibrantly flavorful, absurdly aromatic, refreshing, and memorable dry hard ginger beers that are ready to drink and ready to mix. Donna is an Australian native who moved to Napa Valley, California in 2013. In 2014, Donna began dry-farming a small block of grapevines by hand and making restrained-style wines. Donna started fermenting ginger for her own digestive health, often incorporating foraged and seasonal ingredients. She quickly came to realize she was making beverages she couldn’t buy — ones that had no added sugar or sweeteners and were crafted with only real ingredients.

LinkedIn Donna Katz : https://www.linkedin.com/in/donnagkatz/

Website : https://www.gsgingerbeer.com/

Show Resources: 

This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo

Retail Voodoo has been building beloved and dominant brands in the food, wellness, beverage, and fitness CPG industries for over 30 years. They’ve served multinational companies like PepsiCo. and Starbucks, startups like High Key, and everything in between. 

Their proven process guides hundreds of mission-driven consumer brands to attract a broad and passionate fan base, crush their categories through growth and innovation, and magnify their social and environmental impact. 

So, if you are ready to find a partner that will help your business create a high-impact strategy that gives your brand an advantage, Retail Voodoo is here to help.

Visit retail-voodoo.com or email info@retail-voodoo.com to learn more.

Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

Connect with Diana