Food industry employees are satisfied with their jobs, according to Food Processing’s 11th annual Salary & Job Satisfaction Survey. This year’s results reveal that companies are offering more flexibility, bonuses, and other perks to keep their workforce happy.

Below is a picture of the state of the industry revealed by the survey responses.

Job satisfaction

According to survey respondents, job satisfaction levels in the food and beverage industry have remained stable, with over half of respondents reporting being either very or somewhat satisfied. Salary and benefits, appreciative bosses, and how challenging the work show up consistently as factors contributing to job satisfaction.

Pay rate

Pay rates in the food industry increased at an average of 4.7%, faster than the national average that’s up 3.22% over last year. 67% of respondents received a bonus, profit sharing, or incentive payout last year. This year, the average salary in the food industry is $100,508.

Changing workforce

Boomers are exiting the workforce in droves. According to the survey, employment specialists forecast 30% of the industrial workforce will retire in the next decade. Even so, the food and beverage industry is remaining optimistic.

71% of respondents said their company isn’t making any adjustments to cope with the changing workforce. Only a handful of companies are increasing entry-level pay, enhancing benefit plans, increasing pay across the board, and offering recruitment bonuses.

Increase in remote workers

Working remotely has become more popular in recent years, with 43% of employed Americans working away from the office at least some of the time. The food and beverage industry is pretty on par, at least on the business side. Food Processing’s survey said only 1 in 4 business personnel reported spending all of their work hours in the office.

Vacation time

Overall, workers in the food industry are proactive about taking days off when they need to. Three in four respondents said they take all or most of their vacation time. However, the less vacation time is permitted, the less likely workers are to take all their time off.

Insurance and benefits

More than 93% of employees surveyed have health insurance available through their employer. But with an uncertain future for health insurance, half of employees are expecting some changes including premium, deductible, and copayment increases and possible change in insurance carriers.

Dental coverage, 401k plans, life insurance, and vision coverage are also highly prevalent benefits in the food industry.  

Employee turnover and retention

Keeping skilled workers employed is a high priority for companies. However, Food Processing’s survey revealed stark differences between organizations with a stable workforce and those where turnover is an issue.

Where turnover is under control, respondents said worker retention is a high priority, regardless of skill level, and 60% said skilled-worker recruitment and retention is a priority.

Where employee churn is an issue, the attitude is that less skilled workers are easily replaced. Nearly 25% of these use noncompete contracts, compared to 12% of companies with high retention rates.

Want to learn more about keeping your employees engaged and happy? Check out these articles:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.