Dietetic Career Spotlight on Lauren Swann, Marketing Communications Nutritionist, Concept Nutrition, Inc.
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on MARCH 1, 2017
Lauren Swann, MS, RD, LDN, is one amazing dietitian who is a mover and shaker within our industry. She has done almost everything under the sun that I can think of when it comes to marketing, communications, media, and spokesperson work. You name it, she’s been there. She is inspiring and a go-getter. I’m excited to share her career path with NutritionJobs. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
As a young child I always loved helping my mom cook and accompanying her for grocery shopping. As a college-bound high-school student, I saw healthcare as vital. Dietetics combined those two inclinations.
Your Job Title?
Marketing Communications Nutritionist
Company you are with now?
Concept Nutrition, Inc.
Other Social Media links you would like to include:
– LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/laurenswann
– Facebook: facebook.com/ConceptNutrition
– Twitter: @LaurenSwann
– Pinterest: pinterest.com/seenutrition
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
Check calendar for any preparation needed for scheduled appointments, phone calls, teleconference meetings; check new emails for any unexpected client urgencies or new business requests; check social media sites for new messaging; review to-do list for client deadlines.
I advise on proposed food labeling artwork for regulatory compliance of client products, run nutrient calculations and generate Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts panels; research regulations and liaison with FDA or USDA as needed for food and dietary supplement labeling matters and develop comprehensive product labeling that supports brand positioning consisting with company goals.
My work involves recommending and consulting on optional product claims, submitting USDA-FSIS required applications, advising for product adjustments to meet USDA school meal criteria, developing webinars and customized training and research reports for regulatory staff, freelance writing, technical support for marketing strategy, communicating nutrient and ingredient aspects of food products and nutrition messaging for public health education efforts.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
I completed a coordinated undergraduate program in dietetics and after one year in an urban acute care teaching hospital decided I wanted to work on influence before people got sick in a way that empowers with individual ownership of behavioral change. Food marketing in the mass media appealed to me as a significant and effective means to reach the well population making food choices. So I went to graduate school for an MS in Nutrition Communications which led to my first job in the Consumer Affairs Department of a major food manufacturer developing informational resourcces. From there I applied for a position in Regulatory Affairs where I learned the basics of food labeling regulations while managing compliance for a wide range of retail, foodservice and industrial products and ingredients.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
Writing and public speaking have always felt natural as have organizational managerial approaches. I’ve learned more about food science, food chemistry and food law as well as marketing and brand strategy through my staff experience and client work.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Pursue your passion – you might find yourself naturally gravitating towards that which truly inspires you. My grad school advisor wanted me to aggressively pursue public relations media work and I have done that along the way too. But I still recall telling her at the start of my Master’s program that I wanted to be the one who was responsible for all the technically correct details in a food advertisement, television commercial or marketing campaign and when those opportunities came along I made the most of them.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
Unlimited time off to explore through travel.