Dan Curtin is a seasoned food-industry professional with over three decades of experience building and growing brands. He is on a journey to shape the future of plant-based foods by leading Greenleaf Foods as a food-first and food forward company that provides consumers with a clean, nutritious, and delicious choice for their source of protein.
“There has never been a better or more important time to focus on food, and plant-based protein has to be an essential part of that focus.”
“Plant-based protein is at an incredible tipping point, and I want to push it to the next level. It all starts with the consumer, and they want choices that are nutritious and delicious when it comes to plant-based protein.”
“The global need for healthy food is rapidly growing and current food systems must evolve and expand to meet demand. Plant-based protein has the power to help feed the world and provide consumers with choices when it comes to protein.”
Dan Curtin, President of Greenleaf Foods, has been in the food business for more than three decades. After beginning his career in the food brokerage business in New York and then one of first salespersons hired at McCain Foods, Curtin was responsible for building an array of food brands throughout his nearly ten years with the company. As his love for the industry grew and matured, he would go on to hold senior sales and management roles with Papa Charlie’s, Maple Leaf Foods and Boca Burger, where he served as partner and helped grow the business to double-digit millions before selling to Kraft Foods. In 2017, Curtin took his expertise back to Maple Leaf Foods following the company’s acquisition of Lightlife. Today, Curtin leads the company’s alternative subsidiary as President of Greenleaf Foods, the owner of Lightlife and Field Roast.
What defines a successful leader?
A successful leader constantly innovates, embraces challenges and disruption, cultivates talent and listens to customers, associates and other stakeholders.
Culture and talent are important to any company’s success. How do you engage and inspire your workforce?
Supporting and listening to your associates is crucial for a company’s success. I am highly involved in all aspects of our business and get to know our associates on a personal level. It’s important to me that our associates don’t just have a job, but a career, and that I can nurture and support their aspirations on a personal and professional level.
Innovation and disruption are reshaping industries every day. What do you see as the number one game-changer facing businesses today?
It is imperative that businesses put the consumer first and really listen to what they have to say. With consumer demands always changing, brands and businesses must evolve to meet these needs – even if it means disrupting your business or the category.
Challenges abound in today’s fast-changing business environment. What keeps you up at night?
The unpredictable turbulence due to COVID-19 poses a significant challenge. But that’s why we’re putting redundancy into our product and inventory to ensure we’re ready for anything that’s coming down the pipeline.
Even CEOs need downtime. How do you recharge?
My two passions are my family and food. When I’m not focusing on food and growing our brands in the plant-based protein industry, I spend all the time I can with my family – my wife, kids and grandchildren.
Why did you join Bloomberg Breakaway?
I’m looking forward to joining such a prestigious group of leaders across a variety of industries. From my three decades of experience in the food industry, I know it’s important to connect with others within and outside of your industry in order to innovate and bring the best to consumers – and that’s what I look forward to doing as a member of Bloomberg Breakaway. There’s so much to learn from this group, but I’m also excited to share what I’ve learned throughout my career, and as a leader in the plant-based protein category.
- Food Tank: Not All Plant-Based Proteins Are Created Equal
- Food Talk Podcast: Dan Curtin on Carbon-Neutral Vegan Meat Alternatives
- Authority Magazine: Dan Curtin of Greenleaf Foods: 5 Things You Need To Create a Successful Food Line or Specialty Food
- Beyond the Shelf Podcast: Why transparency is important in the plant-based market with Dan Curtin of Greenleaf Foods
- Office Hours with David Meltzer: Dan Curtin
About Bloomberg Breakaway
Membership in Bloomberg Breakaway combines exclusive, one-of-a-kind peer networking with insight from industry experts, innovators and global leaders.