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Curt Mueller

Senior PartnerChicago

Leads McKinsey’s work in the food and beverage industries in North America; helps companies with holistic transformations, cost optimization, and accelerating growth

Curt is based in Chicago and leads McKinsey’s food and beverage work in North America. In more than 20 years of management consulting, he has counseled and worked with leading global companies in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia to help guide transformations as the market shifts and consumer needs evolve.

He has successfully helped companies in North America, Europe, and Asia drive value through optimizing end-to-end supply chain, optimizing products and assortment, building new capabilities, deploying digital solutions, accessing new channels, and unlocking step change performance.

Curt has led many transformations across the food and beverage sector in protein, prepared foods, agricultural products, nonalcoholic beverages, snacks, confectionary, and alcoholic beverages.

He most recently led McKinsey Transformation for the consumer sector, and previously led our Manufacturing & Supply Chain Practice for many years where he focused on consumer-related industries. Over the last few years, he has been spending his time with organizations on overall strategic direction including the potential and implications of technology enablement, digital, and advanced analytics.

Some of his work with clients include the following:

  • developing a growth strategy for a leading protein company, including overall capital strategy, assortment, and product offerings
  • launching a digital and analytics transformation for a leading food company accessing new markets
  • constructing a comprehensive environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and sustainability strategy for a foodservice company inclusive of greenhouse gasses, food waste, energy usage, and packaging optimization
  • leading the integration of two confectionary companies across go-to market strategy, commercial integration, supply chain and manufacturing optimization, and overhead transformation
  • transforming a frozen-food company through innovation, assortment, and manufacturing
  • optimizing the profitability for a beverages company through complexity optimization, pricing, channel, assortment and operations
  • guiding the complete pivot of a consumer company out of current markets into new spaces and new growth vectors
  • designing and executing the cost repositioning of a consumer-packaged-goods company including network, design to value, procurement, and transportation
  • working with organizations and major companies on the COVID-19 response, including testing, ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE), and vaccines

Published work

Effectively implementing President Biden’s supply-chain review,” McKinsey & Company, March 2021

US food supply chain: Disruptions and implications from COVID-19,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

Simpler is (sometimes) better: Managing complexity in consumer goods,” McKinsey & Company, December 2016

Past experience

Booz Allen Hamilton
Vice president and partner

Mercedes-Benz Group
Process engineer and launch manager

Flowserve Corp
Engineer; project manager


Stephen M. Ross School of Business

University of Michigan
BS, mechanical engineering