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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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What’s the Problem: Your Brand Strategy or Your Marketing Tactics?

Your latest campaign isn’t driving the velocity you expected. Instead of growing your sales, the new flavor you’ve introduced is cannibalizing your legacy product. Your leading retail outlet is preparing to launch a private label version of your offering.

If your food or beverage brand is facing headwinds, do you know if the problem is your marketing tactics? Or your brand strategy?

To find a fix, you need to understand the cause.

Identifying Tactical Problems & Fixes

If your sales and marketing teams are throwing a bunch of “stuff” against the wall to see what sticks, it can be difficult to isolate what’s working and what’s not.

Let’s look at some common problems that arise from sales and marketing tactical misfires:

  • Lack of awareness — you struggle to reach beyond your core audience of longtime fans; while they’re loyal buyers, they aren’t going to grow your bottom line.
  • Emphasis on product attributes — your messaging leads with features and benefits, not who, what, and why you exist. You’re on your way to becoming a commodity if you don’t retool your consumer communication.
  • Product cannibalization — your new flavors, sizes, or packs are eating away at your strongest offerings. When you emphasize attributes, not mission, you’re likely to grab consumers’ attention only with something shiny and new.
  • Placement and pricing friction — your products only move when on deal. Again, if your marketing doesn’t shout your brand’s mission from the rooftops, the consumer thinks, “well, this is a cheap option this week” instead of, “I need this brand in my life.”

To address a lack of consumer awareness, you might start with research (a competitive audit, category audit, and audience analysis) and then evaluate and refine your messaging based upon those insights.

If a marketing review reveals that your messaging is overly focused on your products’ attributes (Low carb! Now in vanilla!), then you need to retool your communication to explain your features and benefits through the lens of the brand. Let the brand’s WHY lead the dialog.

When you have a product cannibalization problem, the tactical fix is pretty straightforward: Develop the discipline to say no. Don’t make more varieties just because you can. Use consumer research, flavor trends, and retailer insights to anticipate consumer demands beyond just a copycat line extension.

Finally, if you’re facing pressure on pricing and placement, then leverage your consumer insights to help your retail partners understand that your audience is their audience. Knowing who your consumer is and how the brand fits into their lives will change the conversation about placement and channel strategy.

Brand Strategy Problems & Solutions

While product-specific data might reveal issues with your sales and marketing tactics, broader insights related to your consumer base and your performance against your competitive set are flashing red lights that you have a brand strategy problem.

We’ll dig into these warning signs in a couple of different business categories, and look at some potential strategic fixes.

AUDIENCE

Key indicators:

  • Brand erosion (loss of brand relevance)
  • Loss of key, long-time loyalist consumers
  • Lack of new audience cohorts
  • Misunderstanding among your internal team of what matters to your consumers

Strategic fixes:

In short, there’s a disconnect between your brand and your customers, one that goes both ways. Your team doesn’t understand who they are (or who they could be) or what they need. They, in turn, don’t get (or have forgotten) what you stand for.

Chances are, your company is sleeping on consumer data, ignoring it, discounting it, or thinking the brand is immune to changing consumer preferences. So research is the place to start fixing an audience strategy problem.

First, you need to look backward to understand the audience you have and how you got them, looking at SPINS data, syndicated research, or a Usage and Attitude Study.

Second, you need to look forward to identify an untapped group that doesn’t yet know they need your brand in their world. Decide who you want to reach out to, who you have a right to talk to, who you want to invite into the group — and then find ways to create linkage to them.

Remember: Your brand doesn’t have to be for everyone. If you’re an undifferentiated brand, you need millions of people to care. If you’re a brand with a purpose, you need a focused group of fans, both current and future, to care.

Always, your capital-B Brand — the promise you make and the way you keep it — drives decisions about who you’re inviting into the tribe. Defining a new audience should not change why you exist; why you exist should illuminate the new audience.

RETAIL ENVIRONMENT

Key indicators:

  • You have unhappy retail customers
  • Low velocity means category managers are days away from dropping your brand
  • Your business is not solving your retailer partners’ main problems
  • New competition is taking significant market share
  • You compete on price rather than value
  • You have low profit margins
  • You’re seeing stagnant ACV (Annual Case Volume) in key accounts

Strategic fixes:

Your salespeople are charismatic folks who could sell water to a drowning person. But they need more than personality; they need tools and language to explain why your brand exists and how it fits into the retailer’s universe. Just as you work to win your consumer’s affection, you need to woo your retail partners.

This retail relationship-building effort involves knowing your existing audience and working to expand it. (See above.) Retailers want to see that you’re constantly driving shoppers to their shelves to find your products: More fans for you equals more business for them. Emphasize, too, your brand’s mission and its power to attract devoted fans who’ll seek you out and pay a premium.

Armed with data and brand strategy, your sales team can build partnerships with retailers based on the goal of shared success. When you work as equals, you’ll face less price pressure, threat of discontinuation, or dictation of shelf placement.

INNOVATION

Key indicators:

  • Competitors’ products or services are no different from yours
  • Your product offering is outdated and no longer desirable
  • You’re behind in understanding new industry standards, consumer preferences, and competitive moves

Strategic fixes:

Throwing new products on retail shelves simply in response to trends or competitive moves is a recipe for becoming a commodity — because every other brand can make those same products. Pumpkin spice is not a brand strategy, it’s an opportunistic product play that may get you a spike in November but is not sustainable.

When you anchor R&D to your brand strategy, you’ll make things that only you can make. Things that are so attuned to your fan base’s needs that they can’t say no.

Consider the promise your brand makes and and how you keep it: What items in your current lineup deliver on that promise? Are there outages or opportunities that you’re not serving? Where do you have permission from your audience to introduce something new? That’s the target area for innovation.

MISSION

Key indicators:

  • You’ve lost track of (or never identified) your brand’s mission: why it exists beyond just making a product
  • You have difficulty finding and keeping talent
  • Your product offering doesn’t match its promise

Strategic fixes:

Really, there’s only one thing to do if the brand does not stand on a strong, defensible mission: Go to Chapter 1 of our book Beloved & Dominant Brands and do all the homework.

Without a mission, you shouldn’t be innovating. Without a mission, you’re selling to the masses instead of singing with the choir. Your competitive advantage isn’t your product features and attributes, it’s the flag you’ve planted in the sand.

Without a brand strategy built on a singular mission, the savviest marketing plan and the most persuasive sales team won’t move the needle.If your brand is struggling with strategy, that’s our superpower. Let’s talk about what you need.

David Lemley

David was two decades into a design career with a wall full of shiny awards and a portfolio of clients including Nordstrom, Starbucks, Nintendo, and REI. His rocket trajectory veered when his oldest child faced a health challenge of indeterminate origin. Hundreds of research hours later, David identified food allergy as the issue and convinced skeptical medical professionals caring for his child. Since that experience, David and Retail Voodoo have been on a mission to create a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable food system for all.

Connect with David
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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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How To Use Strategy as a Benchmark for Evaluating Creative

I’m just not feeling it.

I’d like to see a different shade of blue.

I love it!

In food and beverage marketing (in any field, really), the output of the creative process is highly subjective. We look at design assets — logo, packaging, social advertising — from the perspective of our own likes and dislikes. It’s human nature.

But creative decisions are not about us. They are always about the brand and its audience.

I don’t mean to be critical here. Nobody in your conference room has the tools to evaluate creative output in a way that guarantees it will resonate with your consumers. Not business leaders, who frame decisions rationally. Not design leaders, who frame decisions emotionally. None of us are taught how to think and talk objectively about creative.

So my team and I work hard to educate the marketing and brand leaders we work with, to focus discussions about design on brand objectives, and remove personal biases from the room.

It isn’t easy, but it’s essential to the success of your brand.

Brand Strategy Focuses Creative Exploration

Your capital-B Brand — which we define as the promise you make and the ways in which you keep it — underpins every decision your organization makes. Not just design. A brand strategy intentionally limits your choices. It places guardrails around product innovation: “We don’t make pumpkin spice-flavored products.” It focuses your retail channels: “We aren’t a big-box brand.” It defines your pricing model: “We are a premium product.”

Because we tend to think the creative process is playful, we assume it should happen without boundaries. In fact, brand strategy gives it the right kind of parameters. (Imagine that I set a piece of paper in front of you and said, “You can write or draw anything you want, and in an hour I’m going to come back and tell you whether it works for me.”)

I like to think of brand strategy as a three-lane superhighway surrounding a city. The three lanes are your what (your competitive advantage and your audience), your how (your culture and onlyness), and your why (your mission and promise). The highway keeps all creative exploration and output within the city limits.

Brand strategy produces confidence and clarity in all decision making. Design is the physical manifestation that your strategy is right.

Reframing the Conversation About Creative Output

With strategy as the anchor point, the conversation about design options — regardless of the deliverable — changes. And designers need to shift their frame of reference for spearheading these discussions. (Leading creative evaluations is something Retail Voodoo excels at, and a key reason why so many of our design alumni have gone on to become rockstars in other organizations.)

When designers talk about their work in business terms instead of attributes like color and type, business managers are familiar with the language. The people who have to live with the decisions designers are making respond to their work differently. It steers the dialog out of emotional territory and prevents comments like “I feel it” or “it’s a vibe.”

Even if you have the smartest, bravest, most experienced execs in the room, if you don’t have the strategic framework, you’ll get input like, “I read on Bevnet that ombre is a trend in packaging,” or “I walked into Whole Foods yesterday and saw …”

By focusing the discussion not on preference but on how well the solution supports the brand strategy, creative directors typically gain approval in one or two rounds, even on big, transformative stuff.

When you’re preparing to lead a creative evaluation, here are some questions to consider:

  • Will this resonate with the people we want to attract? (NOT: Will it make us in the room feel good?)
  • Will this stand out on the shelf in a way that can’t be unseen? (NOT: Does this fit within the conventions of our category?)
  • Does this communicate our story in a way that engages new customers and appeals to people who already love our brand? (NOT: Is this on-trend in color and typography?)

Signs That You’re Off Strategy

It’s easy to be seduced by a big idea. And in my experience, creative directors and agencies are really good at rewriting strategy to map to a killer design concept. So beware of falling in love with a solution that’s off strategy. How do you know if this is happening?

The most common sign is that the creative and marketing leads are willing to change the strategy vocabulary to fit the design. Or the creative team has to figure out how to accommodate someone’s personal preferences in the solution (“The brand manager wants blue, so how can we work blue into this design to make them happy?”)

Occasionally when working with food or beverage brands, we run into a senior person’s bias that we can’t overcome. So we treat it like the TV show Chopped: “OK, we have to use lamb brains and lemon meringue pie and pumpkin seeds.” And to the extent we can, we’ll connect those weird ingredients back to the strategy, so the solution makes sense.

Filtering Creative Conversations

Those personal preferences for visual expression — someone loves blue or hates serif type — will always be there. Mission-driven brands also have other cognitive biases that are important to recognize: They think their audience is just like them. And they think that a track record of success proves that their instincts are right.

When you and your colleagues evaluate any creative output, counteract those biases by applying a filter: It’s about our audience, not about us.

The goal is to get everyone to rally around a design translation not because it’s their favorite, but because it will whisper in the ear of your target audience in a way that competitors cannot. You won’t hope the solution works — you’ll know it will.You may be struggling to evaluate creative output with your team. It’s a common challenge — one that we’re really good at solving — so let’s talk.

David Lemley

David was two decades into a design career with a wall full of shiny awards and a portfolio of clients including Nordstrom, Starbucks, Nintendo, and REI. His rocket trajectory veered when his oldest child faced a health challenge of indeterminate origin. Hundreds of research hours later, David identified food allergy as the issue and convinced skeptical medical professionals caring for his child. Since that experience, David and Retail Voodoo have been on a mission to create a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable food system for all.

Connect with David
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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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Good Creative Lasts a Moment. Great Strategy Lasts for Years.

I get it: You’re in a hurry. There’s a deadline, perhaps a category review with your dominant retail partner. Or maybe someone new in your organization wants to put their stamp on the product. So you want a new packaging design for your food and beverage product, and you want it now.

A new package or identity is exhilarating. It can make a splash in the market. But it’s oh so temporary. If your creative isn’t doing the heavy lifting of translating your brand strategy, you aren’t winning.

The secret to great packaging and identity is strategy, not beautiful design. Strategy and creative execution are inextricably linked.

Great creative without great strategy is wallpaper that will be wildly outdated in 18 months. Great strategy without great creative is a binder that sits on your conference room shelf.

Skip the strategy part and go straight to playing with typography and color, and someone else in your category will make the same moves within about six months. So you’ll have to redesign all over again.

Unless you do the strategy work first.

Why Brand Strategy Should Lead Brand Creative

Brand Strategy as a Foundation for Creative

In the world of consumer goods, great design is table stakes. But what makes creative last is a strategy that looks beyond your management team’s understanding of the universe. A brilliant brand strategy allows you to ignore what your competitors are doing (moves that often inspire a we-gotta-do-this-NOW approach to redesign) and build a deep and powerful relationship between your brand and your audience.

Strategy, of course, isn’t just a marketing activity. All roads lead back to your WHY: your brand’s unique point of view and the promises you make. It’s a risk-management and resource-management philosophy. Strategy drives every decision your organization makes: the products you launch, the channels you sell through, the audience you attract, the opportunities you don’t pursue. And yes, the way you package and present your products.

The output of strategy isn’t killer creative. Rather, it’s a defined framework for making decisions, including creative. Brand strategy is creative’s superhero suit—it repels competitors, fends off trends, flashes a signal that summons fans. It allows you to make the right moves that will disrupt your category and remain a force for 5 years or more.

This is the reason we audit a client’s brand positioning against the category and all adjacencies — before we start any design work.

Sometimes, this takes a bit of convincing. Prospective clients who come to our firm for a packaging design makeover may want to skip the strategy — perhaps because they don’t understand its importance and value, or they have limited time or money (or think they do). We explain that taking 8 to 10 weeks to do it right means they won’t have to redo the design in 12 months.

So if you think you need packaging, how do you know you need strategy?

· If something is broken but you don’t quite know what it is

· If you sense that your brand’s relevance is eroding and your sales are trailing off (this is not something packaging alone can fix)

· If you’re pretty confident that you know your audience well (you may know your current people, but who are you not selling to that wants your product?)

· If your sales trajectory is inconsistent with your competitors’ and you aren’t sure why

· If redesigning is just a thing you do every X years

Design Follows, It Doesn’t Lead

Some marketers believe that doing the design work will answer the bigger questions, that they’ll turn up the strategic stuff as they go through the design process. But letting design lead the initiative is a lousy move because the brand team will get emotionally invested in visuals before they get invested in the strategy.

The discipline of package design will never illuminate a new audience or new product or channel strategy or pricing structure; those are all things that only brand strategy can do.

Repeat after me: Creative is always the output of strategy. They’re always done sequentially, not in tandem.

Which isn’t to say that your design team shouldn’t be involved in the strategic work. Inviting senior creative people to the table is a real time-saver. (And if you’re up against a deadline, a pretty great reason to make time for strategy.) When you bring senior creative people in to ride shotgun on strategy, they can get to the solve in just a round or two of ideation. It brings alignment and prevents burnout … “We’re on Round 37!” You’ve created a North Star that provides guardrails for design exploration, focuses feedback, and drives decision-making.

Early in my career, I was guilty of making really beautiful stuff that was so transformative that it pointed my clients’ business in a new direction … and then I came to understand that beautiful stuff doesn’t really cash the check. So our team’s work always starts with our competitive audit – a benchmarking exercise that informs brand strategy and identifies opportunity. Armed with that insight, leaders can make really bold moves that only your brand can make. Including packaging design that doesn’t copy what’s already on the shelf — but transforms the shelf.Ready for a smarter approach to your brand’s creative expression? Let’s have a conversation.

David Lemley

David was two decades into a design career with a wall full of shiny awards and a portfolio of clients including Nordstrom, Starbucks, Nintendo, and REI. His rocket trajectory veered when his oldest child faced a health challenge of indeterminate origin. Hundreds of research hours later, David identified food allergy as the issue and convinced skeptical medical professionals caring for his child. Since that experience, David and Retail Voodoo have been on a mission to create a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable food system for all.

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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