• leighannewooten

Behind the Label – From Corporate Mom to CEO Stay at Home Mom

Updated: Jan 23


How many times have you tried to come up with that million-dollar idea? You think you’ve got it, you’ve never heard of anyone doing this or inventing that. You do a quick search and low and behold someone has.

After years of working in the corporate world as a Nutrition and Sustainability Subject Matter Expert for the food industry, mid-March 2020 hit, and I found myself (as did so many others) heaved into a whole new world. A world that consisted of words like furloughed, newly stay at home mom (or dad), laid off, unemployment, social distancing, face masks, new daily attire (goodbye uncomfortable work clothes, hello yoga pants), Zoom….

As much as Covid disrupted and up-ended my family’s life – a few epiphanies came out of it for me and I think many other working parents. In retrospect, while getting laid off from a company that I worked at for 12 years was devastating, it gave me the enormously uncomfortable push I needed to re-prioritize and re-balance work and life. After talking to many family members and colleagues (shout outs to my husband, parents, uncle and dear friend, Jessi), I decided to do it. To start my own business.

And that’s how Behind the Label was born. Let’s hope it one day becomes my million-dollar idea. For now, I’m just happy that it is my idea. My original idea. No one has brought this concept to the table backing it with the education, credentials, experience and industry relationships that Behind the Label does. This is a woman owned small business created after recognizing there was a need out there:

Health, wellness and sustainability focused food companies looking for the credibility required to back up their brand strategy.

If you read any of the latest trend reports, these three concepts have been, are currently and will continue to be of utmost importance to consumers. Maybe one of the few other good things that has come from Covid; people are more in-tune than ever to their own health and wellness as well as that of our planet. So now is the time to get creative in product design! And now is the time to focus on creating better-for-you and better-for-the-world products.

In order for any food industry company to be successful in this, they cannot just market a product in a better light. The product must TRULY be better for us and the world. This requires not just marketing experts, not just excellent communicators and storytellers. This requires subject matter experts to help navigate the often-confusing waters, research and trends to ensure the brand is honest and true to its mission.



"So what makes you the expert?!"

...And what's that alphabet soup behind your name? MS, RDN/LDN, FAND, LSS BB, LMNOP. Yeah, it’s a mouthful, but since you asked...

MS: Master’s in Nutrition Science

RDN/LDN: Registered and Licensed Dietitian. "Is there a difference between a registered dietitian and a nutritionist?" YESSS, screamed every dietitian EVER! Here is a brief overview. You can click on the picture to read more (in lieu of me getting on my soap box).



FAND: Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics which, “recognizes Academy members who have distinguished themselves among their colleagues, as well as in their communities, by their service to the dietetics profession and by optimizing the nation’s health through food and nutrition.” LBB BB: Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Check out this article to get an overview of what lean six sigma is and how it is specifically applicable to the nutrition and dietetics field.

Lean Six Sigma in Nutrition & Dietetics
Download • 408KB

As for experience? As I moved up the ranks over the last (cough, cough) 20 years, I was both guided by great mentors and had the opportunity to emerge myself in a wide variety of work settings:


· Philanthropies, NGOs, Non-Profits

· Industry Associations

· Sustainable Certification Organizations

· Think Tanks

· Menus of Change Thought Leaders

· Clients (Many of the Forbes Top 100)

· Hospitals and Long Term Care (LTC) Facilities

· Corporate Environments

· Corporate Break Rooms, Office Coffee and Pantry Services

· Marketing and Communications Departments

· Business Analytical Team

· Front/Back of House

· Supply Chain

· Consumer Package Goods (CPG) Companies

· Grocery Stores

· Wineries

· FDA, USDA

Speaking of people, my time in these positions allowed me to create relationships with some of the best and brightest… culinarians… marketers… analysts...communicators… storytellers... innovators. Some of them are on the Behind the Label team. Others are just a phone call away making us very versatile in our consulting services. We will take a deeper dive into other team members in future blogs.


‘What’s In a Name?'

All credit goes to my pops for coming up with the name! Behind the Label. It cleverly works in both the nutrition and sustainability realms. For any packaged food, what’s ON the label needs to truthfully and accurately represent what’s in the product or behind the label. And to be honest, ‘In the Product’ just doesn't have quite have the same ring to it.

In all seriousness, there are many regulations that dictate what can be put on a food or beverage label. Health, sustainability and marketing claims, nutrition facts, ingredient lists... It's a confusing topic for consumers and branding experts alike. What do these claims really mean? When can a company legally make a claim on their label? The FDA tightly regulates this and we help guide companies and marketing teams in choosing the correct terminology. We do that and much more; check out the services tab on our site.


Can you explain the logo?

Ahhh, the logo. Now, credit here goes to the creative genius and snack guru (seriously that’s basically her job title) Jessi Moffitt. We wanted the logo to mirror a label or claim you would find on a consumer packaged good but with a twist, flipping the bottom corner up to see, "what's behind the label". The abstract picture inside? Think of a leaf marrying a watermelon - combining both the health and sustainability arms of the brand. (Clever, that Jessi is...)


What to expect next.

So, that’s the Story of Behind the Label. Going forward, our blogs will pivot to focus on the latest updates, trends and insights in nutrition, wellness and sustainability. Some topics we will cover include:

· Plant Based Eating

· Sustainable Consumer Packaging – Is there such a thing?

· The Circular Economy of Food

· Animal Welfare

· Food Waste

· Sustainable Agriculture

· Navigating Nutrition Regulations

· The Latest Healthy Food Trends

Is there a topic you’d like to know more about? Put it in the comments and maybe you will be the inspiration for the next blog!


If you need any support with your brand, please reach out. We’d love to help.



We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~ Native American Proverb


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