Label Insight says that it is powering transparency at the intersection of retailers, brands, and consumers with an industry-leading platform for CPG product attribute data covering more than 80 percent of top-selling food, pet, and personal care items in the U.S. They started out in the pre-cell era by literally going into grocery stores and manually copying the product labels and entering the information into a spreadsheet. That has changed, but what hasn’t changed is their value-driven innovative company culture.
Dagan Xavier, Co-founder and SVP of Data and Nutrition Sciences at Label Insight, recently talked about how the company started and how the company continues to innovate, in a feature on Entrepreneur:
At the Intersection of Brands, Retailers, and Consumers
Label Insight sits at the intersection of brands, retailers, and consumers. Our data and analytics essentially allow those brands and retailers to increase sales by empowering the consumer to make better-educated decisions around the products that they buy. Why did I start this business? This was a pure family need. When someone in your family is sick and they need help, the first thing you do is you go and help them.
I can remember the call that I got when I was at University, second year. I got a call from my Dad and he asked me to come home because he needed some help to determine what brand of noodles he could eat based on his new diet. Ultimately, it came down to what brand of ramen noodles he could consume that were low in fat, low in sodium, didn’t have any artificial ingredients, and no trans fat.
Problem Solving is ‘Full of Massive Innovation
If anyone out there can answer those four questions on all the ramen products out there I would love them to come work for us. Essentially, that’s what started this. Innovative problem solving is the most innovative and most useful when it’s created from a real need. I think back to when we started this company. This was pre-cell phone days. We would walk down the aisles of supermarkets and use our dictaphones to collect information on the back of packages and dictate it out to Excel to create our database. That’s an incredibly manual process.
In over two years of work, we collected 8,000 products. Not very much, but in those days it was a feat. Having those problems and going through that manual workload, that’s when innovation really happens and starts to occur. I would say that our whole data-ingestion process is symptomatic of that manual history and is full of massive innovation.
Our Key Value is Intellectual Honesty
When I’m seeing Label Insight succeed it’s based on a shared set of values. It’s based on having multiple people moving in the same direction. The way that you can do that is by being mission-driven and value-based. Our mission is clear, we’re out to help people make educated choices around the products that they make. As a way to keep everyone going and moving in the right direction, it has to be about values as well.
We have a number of values that we hold true to ourselves. Obviously transparency, it’s not a trend it’s a right. Other values we hold are collaboration, intellectual honesty, iteration and Innovation, and quality driven. These are all really important values that allow us to get on the same page as each other and be paddling in the right direction.
When I think about a particular value that stands out to me, it’s intellectual honesty. I believe that whenever we are looking at hiring folks and bringing people into the team, that’s the key value that I’m looking for. That ability to admit when you are wrong and to be brutally honest at times that’s the backbone, that’s the base that you need to be able to perform. We are not looking to just perform here. We are looking to change an industry. So we need folks who are able to get us there. That’s why I find that value particularly important.