Aug 3, 2020
Carol Smith - Product Innovations Role in the Changing Consumer Landscape
Play • 1 hr 2 min

It’s safe to say that the food, beverage and wellness industry has seen some explosive growth in innovation in the last 10-ish years. Naturals Industry passion for health, food tech, and big data have become a powerful combination of tools that have created some of the most amazing products that not only help people feel better but live longer too. But while we are also solving some unexpected consumer needs, there are some consumers being left behind. What can our industry do to better understand unmet consumer needs?

In this episode Carol Smith of Materne (you know their products here as GoGo squeeZ) and I talk about this growth and the missed opportunities that brands are making in their drive for growth.

In this episode we tackle:

  • How new definitions of KPI’s and scorecards can help uncover market needs
  • How a lack of diversity in leadership stymie’s product development for Families of Color and impacts a brands ability to grow
  • Why starting with your internal teams and business partners is an easy first step in being a good brand steward

About Carol Smith:

Carol Smith, Director of Innovation at Materne North America, a subsidiary of MOM Group. Most of you might know the brand she works for as Gogo squeeZ.

Carol is a seasoned marketing leader with over 13 years of experience in brand management and product innovation at global companies like Mars Wrigley, Ferrero and Colgate-Palmolive. In her current role, she drives growth of the GoGo squeeZ portfolio by setting the brand’s innovation strategy. Broadly, she is a champion for initiatives that promote health & wellness for families in underserved communities.

Carol earned her MBA from Indiana University (Kelley School of Business) and her BBA from Emory University (Goizueta Business School). She is dedicated to giving back to minority business leaders in the making. So, as a proud alumnus, she serves as a mentor with the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management (CGSM) and Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT).

In her free time, Carol is a stream queen that relishes in the storytelling of television, movies and music. Additionally, she loves experiencing new cultures whether it’s experimenting with recipes or learning dance techniques.


Show Resources:

GoGo squeeZ - GoGo squeeZ is delicious snacking on the go. Healthy, portable, yummy and family-friendly fruit for your busy life.

Episode Sponsor - Retail Voodoo:

A creative marketing firm specializing in growing, fixing, and reinventing brands in the food, beverage, wellness, and fitness industry. If your naturals brand is in need of positioning, package design, or marketing activation, we’re here to help. You can find more information at


Show notes Carol talks about herself and her journey of how she became who she is now [2:12] Carol talks about the trends that she feels excited about in product innovation [5:06] Carol talks about the trend of transparency in business products as the best trend [6:15] Carol talks about plant based alternatives as another trend that businesses should try to do [6:52] Carol talks about the rise of the cannabis industry and the acceptance and the education that is happening [7:55] Carol talks about the idea of education to the underrepresented people [9:45] Carol talks about brands and their importance in a business with regards to education [14:27] Carol talks about the importance of people having the right information [15:52] Carol talks about education process and its impact on brands and utilizing cultural preferences in terms of taste profile [18:42] Carol talks about the hurdles that create challenges to help communities become more innovative [22:47] Carol talks about the lack of diversity as hindrance to innovation [23:10] Carol talks about lack of accountability also as hindrance to innovation [25:20] Carol explains why all people’s voices from different backgrounds should be heard in an organization [28:41] Carol talks about what brands can do to support innovation [29:24] Carol talks about what’s missing in product innovation in underserved communities [33:52] Carol talks about bravery in providing food equity to underserved communities as what’s missing in product innovation [34:04] Carol talks about brands and doing good and not seeing profit as the priority first [35:00] Carol talks explains what people should do in order to deliver to these communities [37:01] Carol and Diana discusses the unemployment problem and what needs to be done [40:00] Carol talks about why it is important to solve internal business problems first before proceeding to external problems [42:00] Carol talks about what brands can do in terms of food deserts and food justice [44:50] Carol talks about ways to have an impact on local communities [49:12] Carol talks about her past and what maybe she could have changed and the advice she could have given herself [50:29] Carol talks about the thing she finds interesting in food production or innovation [53:30] Carol talks about the number of testing she does before she releases a new product to the market [55:00] Carol talks about what she does to keep herself positive and focused [57:33] “Your actions speak louder than your words.” “Start at home, and then grow from there.” “Take care of your family first, and then take care of your community.” Guests Social Media Links:

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