The metropolis of Los Angeles is in a tight contest with a growing hub in Toronto and the traditional food processing crossroads of Chicago as king of the foodies.
Renewable energy is a big plus in LA
Its food processing reach stretches from salsa to sodas, beer to bread, and includes hundreds of specialty processors that are located near to each other to swap freshly prepared ingredients.
Top 10 (mid-sized metros) food processing employment leaders;
- Fresno, CA
- Omaha, NE Council Bluffs, IA
- Lancaster, York, PA
- Gainesville, GA
- Salisbury, MD
- Fort Smith, AR
- Genesee/Livingston Counties, NY
- Green Bay, WI
- Decatur, IL
- Boise, ID
The local industry benefits from a large concentration of suppliers, distributors, local agriculture and fresh ingredients, national distribution centers and a high level of experienced workers.
Access to a variety of fresh produce grown in abundance, locally and in nearby counties facilitates local clusters of established food processing businesses that are a source of ingredients and supplies. Fast and efficient transportation and logistics infrastructure also fuels the growth of this industry, as well as international markets (LA County is an international trade center).
Overseas food brands often set up operations in LA County to serve the US market. The availability of renewable energy is a big plus in LA as well a strong labor force and a huge, culturally diverse population of 10 million who are consumers of a wide variety of foods.
Genesee County ranked at number seven in the list for food processing growth, making this year the fifth time in 10 years it has earned the national ranking in this category.
Steve Hyde, president/CEO, GCEDC, told FoodProductionDaily it was pleased to be recognized again and plans to expand its efforts in ‘this critically important economic sector’.
“The growth of the food processing sector in our region reflects the positive economic climate here which has been significantly enhanced through the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, the first agri-business site of its kind in New York State,” he said.
The agricultural, food and beverage sectors in Genesee County employ approximately 1,500 people. The Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park encompasses 211 pre-permitted acres located between Western New York and the Finger Lakes region in Batavia, NY.
Alpina Foods, a dairy producing company in Columbia and South America, opened its first specialty yogurt manufacturing plant at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in 2013. In 2013, PepsiCo, in a joint venture with German dairy company Theo Müller, opened a $206m yogurt manufacturing facility, Muller Quaker Dairy.
Other key food processing and related companies in Genesee County include O-AT-KA Milk Products and Bonduelle USA.