NJ Food Companies

A Growing Food Industry Hub

Home to some of the world’s leading food companies, New Jersey has a long, rich history in the food industry. Campbell Soup Company has called Camden home since 1869 and continues to invest in its headquarters and the community.

Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic food company in the U.S., has been a cornerstone of the State’s business community since 1974. In April 2015, Goya unveiled its new state-of-the-art corporate headquarters in Jersey City as part of a $250 million investment at three New Jersey facilities.

Since 1992, Arizona Beverages has been brewing America’s No. 1 tea and juice-drink brand – Arizona® Iced Tea – from its manufacturing and distribution facility in Woodbridge. The company recently doubled the capacity of its New Jersey facility to roll out new product.

Today, New Jersey boasts a thriving $126 billion food industry and agriculture sector that’s growing every day. We are home to more than 50,000 food manufacturing companies, R&D facilities, distribution centers, retailers, and farms – employing more than 440,000 people at last count.

Plus, a growing number of food companies are finding that the Garden State has the assets and resources that make it a perfect fit for foodies. It’s no wonder Saveur magazine called New Jersey the “most edible” State in America and Public Radio International dubbed us the “food capital of America.”

Strategic Location Meets Affordable Space

Why do companies like Wakefern Food Corporation, the nation’s largest retailer-owned cooperative choose New Jersey? Simple! It’s the State’s strategic location and transportation infrastructure. Atalanta, the largest privately held food importer in the U.S., and others chose to put down roots and grow in our Garden State, too.

Strategically located in the heart of the Northeast corridor, New Jersey provides easy access to one of the most affluent consumer markets in the world. A distribution center in central New Jersey can serve more than 22 million consumers who collectively have nearly $800 billion in disposable income and live within a two-hour drive. It’s no wonder companies that rely on same-day deliveries believe that a New Jersey location gives them a competitive advantage.

The Port of New York and New Jersey, the 3rd busiest port in North America and the largest on the East Coast, make it easy to import and export food products.

Many food companies are equally attracted to the State’s affordable real estate, which offers them a good deal more space for the money than neighboring New York.

Junior’s Cheesecake – manufacturer of quintessentially New York food products – made the move to New Jersey where affordable space for manufacturing and distribution facilities is widely available.

  • “For food companies, New Jersey’s world class transportation and logistics infrastructure is a crucial advantage.”
    Cheryl Williams
    Chief Information Officer, Wakefern Food Corporation

A Highly-Educated Workforce Fuels Food Research

Where is the highest concentration of scientists and engineers per square mile in the world? New Jersey. Many of those professionals were trained in our State, which has one of the most highly-educated workforces in the nation. That’s why many big brands, such as Pinnacle Foods and Unilever not only have headquarters and distribution facilities here; they also locate their R&D and innovation centers New Jersey.

Nestlé Health Science, one of the subsidiaries of the Swiss food and beverage giant, chose to build its new headquarters and R&D facility in New Jersey. Nestlé cited the “commercial and technical competence” of the Garden State’s workforce as a key factor in the company’s decision.

The availability of top talent also has been a factor in the growth of other food sectors. For example, New Jersey is home to the worlds’ leading flavor, fragrance and ingredient manufacturers. At last count, this sector totaled 128 firms. Their cumulative gross sales: $5.2 billion.  In fact, 10 of the top 10 flavor and fragrance companies worldwide have a presence in New Jersey. The concentration of jobs and wages in the flavor and fragrance industry in New Jersey is 3 times the national average.

Perfumer & Flavorist, Flavor & Fragrance Leaderboard, 2017

Growing in the Garden State

New Jersey is called the Garden State for good reason. With more than 9,000 farms spread across 720,000 acres, New Jersey generated $1 billion in farm revenue in 2015. Fruits and vegetables, the largest sector, brought in $367 million, with New Jersey ranking as a top producer of cranberries, bell peppers, spinach, peaches, blueberries, cucumbers – and New Jersey tomatoes.

We’re also home to the world’s largest indoor vertical farm. AeroFarms recently completed the renovation of a former steel mill in the Ironbound section of Newark to create the new urban farm. It will ultimately produce 2 million pounds of leafy greens each year.


State For Cranberries


State For Eggplant


State For Spinach

Agricultural Programs and Incubator Support Food Industry

New Jersey’s food industry has access to notable agricultural programs that provide a wide variety of educational opportunities and resources, including Rutgers University’s Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics; and, the Agriculture Business Technology program at Rowan College at Burlington County.

Rutgers University also has a 46,000-square-foot Agricultural Experiment Station in New Brunswick and a Food Innovation Center (FIC) in Bridgeton.

The award-winning FIC is a unique business incubation and economic accelerator that offers client companies training, research and business support. It also offers a state-of-the-art USDA and FDA-inspected food processing facility that has served more than 1,500 clients since 2001. FIC is the only “Soft Landings” incubator in the world devoted to food, providing valuable resources to start-ups and established food companies alike.

Resources to Help Food Companies Grow

New Jersey supports its food companies via a number of specialized programs to help them grow, including:

Manufacturing Equipment and Employment Investment Tax Credit: New Jersey food manufacturers may qualify for a tax credit for the acquisition of equipment and/or for the addition of employees due to equipment investment.

New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP) offers technical and management solutions to assist food manufacturing companies become more productive, profitable and globally competitive.

Loans, Loan Guarantees, Bond Financing and More: The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) offers a wide range of programs that provide access to capital to meet the specialized needs of food manufacturing companies, both large and small.

Unlike many U.S. states, New Jersey places no personal property tax on machinery, equipment or inventory.

Incentives & Workforce Development

New Jersey also offers qualified food companies a number of attractive incentives and workforce development programs.

Grow New Jersey Assistance Program

Companies may qualify for fully-transferable tax credits by creating as few as 25 full-time jobs (10 for new technology startups).

Workforce Training

Competitively-awarded training funds help companies develop industry-specific solutions to workforce challenges.

The Advanced Manufacturing and Transportation, Logistics and Distribution Talent Networks

The Networks partner with businesses to develop workforce training, and connect companies with trained employees to address their workforce needs.

Top New Jersey Food Companies

Many leading and growing food companies have headquarters or significant manufacturing and distribution operations in New Jersey. Here are just a few:



what can choose New Jersey do for you?

Margie Piliere headshot

Margie Piliere Chief Economic
Development Officer

Frank Danieli headshot

Frank Danieli Economic Development Associate, Food and Logistics

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