A GROWING FOOD INDUSTRY

Home to some of the world’s leading food companies, New Jersey has a long, celebrated history in the food industry. Our strategic location, transportation infrastructure and talented workforce give both industry giants and innovative startups the ability to stay competitive.

Campbell Soup Company has called Camden home since 1869 and continues to invest in its headquarters and the community. Mars Wrigley has been making M&Ms® in Hackettstown since 1958. The company moved into a new headquarters at Ironside Newark in 2020, bringing with it 500 jobs. Bai Brands, maker of coffeefruit-infused beverages, was launched out of a Princeton basement in 2009. In 2017, Dr Pepper Snapple Group bought Bai for $1.7 billion.

Saveur magazine called New Jersey the “most edible state in America” and Public Radio International dubbed us the “food capital of America.” New Jersey is the diner capital of the world with over 500 diners located here. Forget Philly…the best cheesesteaks are in Jersey, specifically Donkey’s Place in Camden. So said the late Anthony Bourdain. The New York Times proclaimed the best New York pizza is made at Razza in Jersey City. Cultural experiences of every kind can be found here—New Jersey’s deep immigrant roots contribute to a diverse dining scene and ethnic food production hub.

Do you need specific information for your business? Contact us.

STRATEGIC LOCATION MEETS AFFORDABLE SPACE

New Jersey’s strategic location and transportation infrastructure help food companies succeed. That’s why Wakefern Food Corporation, the nation’s largest retailer-owned cooperative, and Atalanta, the nation’s largest privately held food importer, are both headquartered here. More than 1/3 of the 100 major food companies in the U.S. have a presence in New Jersey.

Strategically located in the middle of the Boston – New York City – Washington D.C. 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 38 million consumers within 150 miles. Companies that rely on same-day deliveries recognize that our State gives them a competitive advantage.

The Port of New York and New Jersey, the 2nd busiest port in North America and the largest on the East Coast, make it easy to import and export food products. New Jersey is the #1 state in the Northeast for share of food production exports.

Many food companies are equally attracted to the State’s affordable real estate, which offers them more space for the money than neighboring New York. Oatly, the Swedish leader of the non-dairy revolution, chose a South Jersey location to meet North American demand for oat milk. In 2018, Oatly opened a $15 million, 25,000 square-foot U.S. processing plant in Millville—the first outside Europe. Oatly was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2019.

A HIGHLY-EDUCATED WORKFORCE FUELS FOOD RESEARCH

Our State is a leader in food innovation breakthroughs. New Jersey companies offering unique products and flavors are in high demand from consumers across the world.

New Jersey’s workforce includes the highest concentration of scientists and engineers per square mile in the U.S. Our State is also home to the #2 largest pool of food technologists and scientists in the country. Many of those professionals were trained here, as Rutgers University’s graduate food science program is rated among the top 5 in the world. 

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 New Jersey region’s workforce as a key factor in the company’s decision.

New Jersey is also home to 142 of the worlds’ leading flavor and extract manufacturers. In fact, 8 of the top 10 flavor and extract companies worldwide have a presence in New Jersey. The concentration of jobs and wages in the flavor and extract industry in New Jersey is 3x the national average.

wdt_ID NEW JERSEY’S TOP FLAVOR, FRAGRANCE AND INGREDIENT MANUFACTURERS
1 Givaudan
2 Firmenich
3 IFF International Flavors & Fragrances
4 Symrise
5 Takasago
6 Mane
8 Sensient Flavors
9 Robertet

Perfumer & Flavorist, Flavor & Fragrance Leaderboard, 2020

JERSEY FRESH

True to our name as The Garden State, New Jersey’s rich agricultural history serves as the foundation of our food ecosystem. With more than 9,900 farms spread across 750,000 acres, New Jersey generates $1.1 billion in farm revenue annually. New Jersey ranking as a top producer of cranberries, bell peppers, spinach, peaches, blueberries, cucumbers and tomatoes. Nowhere else is “farm to table” more of a reality than New Jersey.

Considering we are also the most densely populated state in the country, it makes sense that New Jersey is on the forefront of the urban farm movement. AeroFarms – the world’s largest indoor vertical farm – grows leafy greens year-round without sunlight, soil or pesticides within a 70,000 square-foot converted steel mill in Newark’s Ironbound section. Since 2004, AeroFarms has reinvented farming as we know it and was named a finalist for Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas of 2020.

# 0
STATE FOR EGGPLANT

Source: Department of Agriculture,
Jersey Fresh, 2018

# 0
STATE FOR CRANBERRIES AND PEACHES

Source: Department of Agriculture,
Jersey Fresh, 2018

# 0
STATE FOR SPINACH, ASPARAGUS, BELL PEPPERS

Source: Department of Agriculture,
Jersey Fresh, 2018

COMMERCIAL KITCHENS AND INCUBATORS

wdt_ID Incubator City
1 Rutgers Food Innovation Center North Piscataway
2 Rutgers Food Innovation Center South Bridgeton
3 Organic Food Incubator Bloomfield
4 Garden State Kitchen Orange
5 Hudson Kitchen Kearny Point, Kearny
6 The Kale Factory Incubator Paterson
7 Cherry Street Kitchen Trenton
8 Food Specialization Center Bridgeton

New Jersey is home to commercial kitchens and food incubators that offer affordable space, equipment and resources for companies looking to scale. 

The award-winning Rutgers Food Innovation Center (FIC) is a unique business incubation and economic accelerator that offers marketing, technical, regulatory, and manufacturing expertise to U.S. companies as well as international businesses looking to establish a presence in the U.S. FIC’s state-of-the-art USDA and FDA-inspected food processing facility has served more than 1,500 clients since 2001. FIC is the only “Soft Landings” incubator in the world devoted to food, providing valuable support to startups and established food companies alike.

Impossible Foods, maker of the plant-based Impossible Burger, credits FIC as critical to its scale up path to develop production lines and seed the market.

A THRIVING ETHNIC FOOD HUB

Every culture, palate and delicacy is celebrated in New Jersey. We are home to the third largest population of foreign-born residents in the nation. From authentic Portuguese pastel de nata in Newark’s Ironbound section to some of the best Indian restaurants in the country in Edison, our State is a mecca for ethnic cuisine. Many international food companies see New Jersey as a cultural match, thanks in part to our diversity and ability to reach key markets.

Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic food company in the U.S., has been a cornerstone of the State’s business community since 1974. Goya unveiled a new, state-of-the-art corporate headquarters and distribution facility in Jersey City in 2015 as part of a $250-million investment at its three New Jersey facilities. The new Secaucus plant has a net zero carbon footprint and is equipped to manufacture and distribute more than 4 million cases of Goya products annually. An innovative continuous motion line produces 600 boxes of Goya’s rice mixes per minute at a rate six times faster than the company’s past production capability.

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:

wdt_ID Top Companies
1 Wakefern Food Corporation
2 Campbell’s Soup Company
3 Atalanta
4 Bai Brands
5 B&G Foods
7 Bridor USA, Inc.
8 Cadbury Adams
9 Clement Pappas & Co.
10 Firmenich
11 Fratelli Beretta

Videos

Fill out the form to learn more about what New Jersey has to offer.
Once the form is complete, you’ll get access to guides for your industry and a representative will contact you with additional details.

  • Which resources are you interested in for your business?
    (Select all that apply)

  • Hidden

Step 1 of 5

Resources to SUPPORT GROWTH

Food and beverage companies may qualify for a number of attractive incentives and workforce development programs to help locate or expand their operations in New Jersey. 

Workforce Training Grants


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

Learn More

NJ Ignite


Provides free rent support for entrepreneurs seeking to operate in collaborative workspaces, while providing workspaces with a competitive advantage and greater value proposition to offer prospective tenants.

Learn More

DOWNLOADS

Choose New Jersey Food & Beverage Guide


Learn More

New Jersey Labor and Workforce Development Report – Manufacturing


Learn More

WHAT CAN CHOOSE New Jersey DO FOR YOU

Relocation & Expansion Services

We provide customized RFI responses, demographics, detailed market assessments and other complimentary business relocation and expansion services. When your company chooses to grow in New Jersey, we also will help you publicize your good news.

Site Visits

We’ll make your property search seamless, so you find the site that best meets your relocation or expansion needs.

Economic Development Connections

Our public and private partners provide a wide range of services. From higher education research collaboration to regulatory and legal assistance to workforce training, they’ll ensure you have a smooth landing.

Chantel Figueroa
Business Development Officer
Rena Sherman
Research Manager