Food and Beverage Industry a Powerhouse Throughout the U.S.

Grow local, global supply chain challenges and a resurgence in American manufacturing have made food and beverage manufacturing a hot corporate site location topic. Regions with a strong base of food and beverage manufacturing employers and workforce are attractive to companies in this industry seeking to expand current facilities or locate new ones. Industries tend to like to be located next to common industries as they have common workforce, infrastructure and policy needs.

Industries in the Food Manufacturing subsector transform livestock and agricultural products into products for intermediate or final consumption. The industry groups are distinguished by the raw materials (generally of animal or vegetable origin) processed into food products. The food products manufactured in these establishments are typically sold to wholesalers or retailers for distribution to consumers, but establishments primarily engaged in retailing bakery and candy products made on the premises not for immediate consumption are included.

Food and Beverage Industry a Powerhouse Throughout the U.S.

There are many food and beverage processing plants in the United States—41,080 in 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census’s County Business Patterns. Food and beverage processing plants are located throughout the United States. California had the most food and beverage manufacturing plants (6,301), whereas Texas (2,782) and New York (2,662) were also leading food and beverage manufacturing States. Pennsylvania, Illinois, Washington, Florida, Ohio, New Jersey, and Wisconsin round out the top 10 states with the largest base of food and beverage manufacturing companies.

Food and Beverage Industry a Powerhouse Throughout the U.S.The Ohio Center for Innovative Food Technology noted that Ohio’s food and beverage industry employs nearly 126,000 people across the state and invests over $100 million in food-related research and development (R&D), Ohio’s food industry sectors include food and beverage machinery and packaging; food and beverage processing and manufacturing; and food and beverage wholesale and warehousing. Ohio’s food industry performs 43% more R&D than the national average and hires more high-skill workers to advance the sector. For instance, Ohio’s broad food packaging, processing, manufacturing, and distribution sector boasts 60% more engineers than the U.S. average, 40% more engineering technicians, and 38% more food scientists and technologists.

The Great Lakes States are a major food manufacturing jobs center as illustrated by the chart below.

Food and Beverage Industry a Powerhouse Throughout the U.S.

A location quotient is an economic development measure that compares a region’s workforce with other regions where a location quotient at 1.0 or better is above the national average. The table above illustrates that other than Michigan and Kentucky the Midwest states are very strong in the food manufacturing industry.