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Head of Product Innovation



New York, NY, USA
Posted on Friday, June 30, 2023


Gainful is performance nutrition that unlocks your full potential. We provide personalized products and 1:1 Registered Dietitian support to empower active people to reach their unique goals by transforming their health.

Founded in 2017, Gainful is backed by some of the world’s best venture investors (including Y Combinator, BrandProject, and Courtside VC). Our current products are Personalized Protein, Personalized Hydration, Personalized Pre-Workout, and our line of Performance Boosts (Collagen, Creatine, and Fiber).

Gainful recently raised a round of funding, and we have set ambitious goals for 2022 and beyond.

Job Description:

Depending on the candidate's level of experience, this role may be either Director or Senior Director level.

Gainful is looking for a Head of Product Innovation to lead R&D and commercialization for all of Gainful’s performance nutrition products. Most importantly, however, the Head of Product Innovation will act as the expert voice on every product sold by Gainful, with our consumer as your north star.

The ideal candidate will balance nutrition science and product development expertise with deep understanding of the active nutrition consumer (both present and future). Gainful’s Head of Product Innovation should be an advocate for our customers first and foremost – an expert at knowing what each Gainful customer wants from our products and why. This understanding should also apply to future products and services through the candidate’s ability to monitor consumer trends and identify unmet needs for future launches.

In this role, you will be expected to work closely with our Brand Director to develop, own, and continuously refine all product messaging related to the functional benefits of our products. You will be responsible for communicating this product messaging to everyone in the business, including Customer Experience, Registered Dietitians, Marketing, Operations, and C-Level so that the team can present consistent and personalized messaging to our diverse customers and investors. You will also work closely with the Brand Director to identify and evaluate new categories and formats within performance nutrition for Gainful to focus on for new product innovation.

identify and execute end-to-end product innovation/improvement across formulation, ingredient sourcing, taste, quality, format, packaging, compliance, labeling and more.

Finally, the Head of Product Innovation will be the primary point of contact for all members of Gainful’s Science Advisory Board (3 members not disclosed on website), which is composed of performance nutrition and sport science experts from academia, industry, and elite professional sport. You will be responsible for leveraging their expertise and time to produce content that supports Gainful’s product marketing, as well as gather their input on new product innovation. You will also have the opportunity to recruit future science advisors to join the advisory board.

Responsibilities include:

  • Owning the messaging of each product’s key benefits – personalized in context to the type of customer you’re speaking to and the channel in which you’re speaking to them.
  • Defining all key benefits of future nutrition products in a consumer-centric, data driven manner.
  • Acting as the primary decision maker on all things related to new product innovation and primary owner for Gainful’s new product roadmap.
  • Partnering with our Brand Director to effectively communicate these product benefits across all customer touchpoints – website, email, social, packaging, PR, etc.
  • Project managing multiple competing priorities across both existing portfolio and new product innovation, partnering with multiple internal stakeholders including Brand, Operations, Growth, Executive Leadership Team, Digital Product, etc.
  • Acting as the primary point of contact for our Science Advisory Board on any product related research needs and content requests
  • Partnering with our in-house Registered Dietitian team to ensure consistent messaging across channels, understand direct feedback and requests from customers, and helping to expand the presence of our Registered Dietitian offering
  • Liaising with co-manufacturers and raw materials suppliers to ensure consistent quality, manage costs and timelines, partner on new opportunities to expand the business
  • Drive decision-making with a strong understanding of business needs (e.g. margin expansion, supply chain operations, demand planning, project management)
  • Partnering with food scientists and food product developers (3rd party contracted by Gainful, those employed by our manufacturing partners, and – in future – internal teammates) to improve existing product taste/experience and bring new nutrition products to market
  • Working closely with our manufacturing partners’ regulatory and quality assurance teams to guarantee 100% product consistency and quality. You will have access to Gainful’s legal counsel as well as third-party experts as needed.


  • Minimum of 5+ years experience in product marketing, product development, or product innovation role at a better-for-you CPG brand.
  • Background in Food Science, Nutrition Science, Exercise Physiology or related field (specialization in active/sports nutrition and supplementation preferred).
  • Passionate about the VMS category, direct-to-consumer subscription business model, and health/wellness.
  • Experience working cross-functionally with digital & physical product, brand marketing, growth marketing, supply chain operations, customer experience, and leadership.
  • Experience working with teams across all stages of the product development lifecycle, including but not limited to academics, food scientists, process engineers, product developers, packaging engineers, QA/QC, and logistics.
  • Experience working with co-manufacturers (from R&D through commercialization and scale-up)
  • Ability to synthesize quantitative and qualitative consumer insights to become the expert on a health-conscious consumer. Balance this expertise with business needs to develop best in class CPG products.
  • Data-driven, with experience working with data teams to ask the right questions and derive actionable consumer insights.
  • Self-motivated. Ability to identify and solve problems without direction in an extremely fast-paced working environment.
  • Laser-focused, able to distill complex problems and disparate sources of information into the crucial and most actionable recommendations.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
  • Outstanding project management and organizational ability.
  • Extreme attention to detail.
  • Strong presenting and public speaking ability.
  • Advanced proficiency in computer applications and systems including G-Suite and Microsoft Office Suite.


  • Experience at a high-growth startup, preferably a tech-enabled consumer brand.
  • Experience at a direct-to-consumer subscription company or other consumer company with a heavy emphasis on repeat purchase behavior.
  • Established thought leadership in performance nutrition.
  • Experience working in high-performance sport or fitness.
  • Copywriting experience.
  • Nice to have: expertise in regulatory, QA, and compliance for supplement products.

Working at Gainful:

Location: HQ office at 6 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

  • Hybrid in-office (~3 days/week) and work from home (~2 days/week)
  • Full remote work situations will be considered

Hours: Full time, unlimited PTO

Pay: competitive salary + equity

Health Insurance:

For obvious reasons, having a healthy team is incredibly important to us. For that reason, Gainful offers best-in-class health insurance.

Medical: Your choice between 6 Aetna plans (some of which are HSA eligible). Gainful covers the full cost of the two plans with lowest premiums. Gainful also covers 50% of dependents for all plans.

Dental: Your choice between Aetna 3 Low Dental PPO (Gainful covers full premium, employee pays $0) or Aetna 1 High Dental PPO+ plan.

Vision: Your choice between Aetna Vision Preferred (Gainful covers full premium, employee pays $0) or Aetna Vision+ Preferred.

Pre-tax benefits

  • Health FSA
  • Dependent Care FSA
  • Commuter

Parental Leave: 12 weeks paid leave + 0 weeks unpaid leave (mothers & fathers). Parental paid leave may be taken at any point in the first 12 months after a child is born.

Visa sponsorship: Not available in most cases


  • Free snacks/beverages
  • Unlimited Gainful product & swag
  • Macbook Pro and whatever tools you need to do your job

Start Date: ASAP

Gainful is an Equal Opportunity Employer and considers applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, orientation, national origin, age, disability, genetics or any other basis forbidden under federal, state, or local law. Come as you are :)