What many people don’t know is that Georgia is also a major destination for food processors. In fact, we make some of the country’s most popular food products right here – global brands you can find at every major supermarket in the country. Brands like General Mills, Kellogg’s and Frito Lay. Products like Fritos, Tostitos, Doritos, SunChips, Cheez-Its, Famous Amos Cookies, Eggo Waffles, King’s Hawaiian rolls, Combos, Rice Krispy Treats, Coca-Cola, and Premium Bottled Water. And there are many more.
As of 2009, we were home to 608 companies employing nearly 68,000 people. The food processing industry accounts for roughly $8 billion of Georgia GDP. In the last five years, approximately 40 new and expanding food industry companies have located in Georgia, creating more than 5,200 jobs. Nearly 1,900 of those jobs were created within the last two years alone.
We also offer several competitive advantages unique to the food processing industry. Companies appreciate our abundant agricultural assets, skilled workforce, and excellent accessibility to markets – including over 12,000 grocery retailers and wholesalers serving a state population of 10 million in the nation’s fastest growing region. In addition, we offer exceptional transportation systems and sophisticated infrastructure, including Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, a superior rail network, and our thriving ports in Savannah and Brunswick. We are home to world-class technology resources through the University System of Georgia, as well as a multitude of private research institutions and technical colleges.
All these assets come together to create the kind of business-friendly environment that has led to a critical mass of successful food processors. And now you know!
Tom Croteau is Director of Food, Energy, Logistics and Agribusiness Projects for the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD). Tom’s project management team is responsible for working with companies within these vertical industries interested in opening or expanding operations into the Southeast, with the objective of locating new facilities in Georgia.