The food industry has tremendous opportunity for growth in the Midwest, particularly in northern and east-central Indiana and southwest Michigan, according to a study commissioned by Indiana Michigan Power. The results indicate that the baking and snack food, dairy, meat and poultry, and beverage sectors hold the greatest growth potential.

The food industry already has a strong presence in the area, especially given the abundant presence of flour, oil, potatoes, and packaging suppliers. From 2006 to 2016, food and beverage industry employment in the region grew by 24%, three times the national average. And the numbers specific to the beverage industry are even more impressive. Demand for locally sourced craft beer, wine, and spirits has spiked employment in the beverage industry by 248% over the past 10 years.

This isn’t the first effort to recognize the ripe opportunities for the food industry in the Midwest region. Economic development efforts in Fort Wayne and Wisconsin are also focusing on food and beverage, helping businesses and communities create professional networks and capitalize on the ample resources the Midwest has to offer.