Bolthouse Farms’ Jeff Dunn Discusses Empathetic Leadership and Plant-Based Foods

Jeff Dunn cut his teeth at Coca-Cola and gained even more experience in the food industry with the Campbell Soup Company. But where he found his passion was becoming CEO of Bolthouse Farms, a packaged foods company that grew out of a small Michigan farm in 1915. In fact, that passion led him to buy the company back from Campbell’s after selling it to them in 2012.

In this episode of Lead With We, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jeff about how differences in company culture led to the buy-back and taking an agile approach to consumer packaged goods. Plus, we discuss how the enormous demand for plant-based foods is reshaping our food system and how COVID opened up a conversation between Jeff and his leadership team about empathy. 

Jeff Dunn

Jeff Dunn is an Operating Partner at Butterfly and focuses primarily on the agriculture & aquaculture and food & beverage product sectors. Mr. Dunn is currently the Chairman and CEO of Bolthouse Farms and also serves on the board of directors of Orgain and Pacifico Aquaculture. He has over 30 years of experience in agriculture and packaged food, including senior leadership positions with Bolthouse Farms, Campbell Soup Company and The Coca-Cola Company, among others.

Prior to joining Butterfly, Mr. Dunn was the President of the Campbell Fresh division of Campbell Soup Company from 2015 to 2016, where he was in charge of building Campbell’s scale and accelerating its growth in the rapidly expanding packaged fresh segments and categories across the retail perimeter. Between 2008 and 2015, Mr. Dunn was President and CEO of Bolthouse Farms, which is a leading processor and marketer of fresh carrots in North America, as well as a leading provider of super-premium juice, smoothies and salad dressings. Mr. Dunn also led Madison Dearborn Partners’ $1.6 billion sale of the company to Campbell in 2012. Prior to joining Bolthouse, Mr. Dunn was President and CEO of Ubiquity Brands, a rollup of several regional snack food businesses. Previously, he spent 22 years in leadership positions with increasing responsibility at The Coca-Cola Company, culminating with his role as President of Coca-Cola North America and Latin America, the largest of the company’s strategic business units.

Mr. Dunn is also a co-founder of Acre Venture Partners, a Los Angeles-based venture capital fund that invests in the future of food. He currently serves as an advisor to Farmers’ Business Network, Spoiler Alert and Plenty and previously served on the board of directors of Herbalife and Juicero.

This episode of Lead With We was produced and edited by Goal 17 Media and is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify, or watch this episode on YouTube at WeFirstTV.


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