Many dietitians work with brands to support them in building brand awareness. They act as a spokesperson, do project work and many other things. I’ve worked with food startups since 2014, helping them design their products and marketing messages, and understand the audience they’re trying to serve. In my case, parents.
A registered dietitian can be an asset to companies seeking to create products and build their brand. From validating the product’s role for individuals to building the nutrient composition of the product, and so much more, dietitians can help startups in many ways.
If you’re a food startup company, here’s how hiring a dietitian can help.
Clarify Where Your Product Fits in the Marketplace
No product will ever sell unless there’s a market for it. In other words, just because you like purple widgets or had success with paint-filled markers (I’m making these up), doesn’t mean the market will value those products.
A pediatric dietitian can help food startups understand the market they’re entering. Knowing the end-user (i.e., parents), their thoughts, worries, and motivations can be golden insight, helping startups define their customer and how to reach them. Of course, understanding childhood nutrition trends helps as well.
Validate a Product as a Worthy Addition to the Food Space
Not all food product ideas are good ideas. I remember one food startup asking me to work with them, but when I looked at the promise they were making with their product, it was too much of a stretch for me to stand behind. In my experience, products that have a research basis do better in the marketplace because there’s evidence behind them.
One of the best things a dietitian can do for emerging companies is to steer them (and challenge them) to find the research validation behind their product.
Caution You of Pitfalls, or Deficits in the Product
New food products can’t always cover every nuance, nutrient, or promise of good nutrition. However, a dietitian can help food startups find the priorities, given the goals of the product and the end-user. They can also suggest trade-offs. For example, a minimum nutrient requirement can be determined for a product, or an ingredient swap to maximize nutritional content.
Highlights the Strengths of the Product
Not only is it prudent to be aware of a new product’s potential shortcomings, it’s also essential to understand a product’s strong suit. For instance, if a product happens to be a high fiber containing food, that’s a meaningful addition to the pediatric space where many kids struggle with constipation and meeting their fiber requirements.
Analyze the Nutrient Composition and Suggest Improvements
Dietitians are professionals at nutrient analysis and can help startup companies look at a food product holistically, offering suggestions for better nutrient content. They also can offer nutrient goals when food products are in development.
Competitive Analysis of Other Similar Brands in the Marketplace
The food space is a competitive world. Just look at baby food brands. There are dozens of them. Standing out in a competitive marketplace is challenging, but a dietitian can help companies see where a product stands against the competition. This can be the basis for recipe revisions, differentiation in the market, and the marketing messages for the product in development.
Providing Food Marketing and Promotional Advice
A seasoned pediatric dietitian knows her stuff. She understands how food is marketed and promoted. She knows the parent audience. She can caution food startups from promising too much and nudge them to highlight meaningful attributes.
Brainstorm Media Headlines that Grab Attention
Getting attention for your brand is an important component to success. From social media to mainstream articles, pediatric dietitians can help brainstorm outlets, articles, and messages to support the brand. Some may even write for your brand, showcasing their thought leadership and your brand positioning.
Other Ways Pediatric Dietitians Can Help Food Startups
Of course, dietitians can do so much more for startup companies and established organizations! Just think about brand spokesperson work, product endorsement by lending their name and likeness to your brand, writing articles for your website, and much, much more. There’s no formal job description here, and the sky is the limit.
If you’re running a company in the food space, a pediatric dietitian can be a highly valued member of your team.
Have you engaged a dietitian to help get your brand off the ground?