A growing number of companies are finding that New Jersey has the assets and resources that make it a perfect fit for food manufacturing, food distribution and food research. Here are just a few of the food companies that recently chose New Jersey for relocation or expansion.
Originally headquartered in Ithaca, New York, AeroFarms – the commercial leader for indoor vertical farming, opened a 69,000-square-foot headquarters and vertical farm in the Ironbound section of Newark. AeroFarms worked closely with members of the New Jersey Partnership for Action to find a suitable location for the urban farm. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority awarded the project $6.55 million in Grow NJ incentives tied to the creation of approximately 70 new jobs.
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 since 1992. The company announced its plans to double the size of its New Jersey facility in 2016 to roll out its new products. Arizona was approved for $18.9 million in tax incentives over 10 years to construct the new 559,915-square-foot manufacturing plant adjacent to its existing facility.
In 2015, beverage maker Bai Brands expanded its operations in New Jersey by moving its main storage and distribution operations to a 225,000 square-foot facility in Bordentown in order to support the rapid growth of the company’s line of antioxidant-rich beverages. Founded in a basement in Princeton in 2009, today Bai is the fastest growing brand in the enhanced water category and was recently named one of “America’s 20 Most Promising Companies.” The company was acquired by Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. in January 2017.
Boxed, a mobile service for wholesale goods, is more than tripling the size of its New Jersey warehouse space in a new industrial building in Union. The startup signed a seven-year lease for almost 144,000 square feet of space. Boxed employs approximately 50 employees at its 40,000-square-foot distribution center in Edison. The company projects it will house 100 workers at the new location. Boxed cited the ability to offer a wider selection of products and to install a multimillion-dollar automated system for retrieving and stocking merchandise as rationale for its expansion decision.
Baked goods maker, Bridor, completed a $32 million expansion of its U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in Vineland. The project expanded the company’s facility by 47,000 square feet and created 45 jobs, raising its total workforce on-site to more than 175 people. The project added a new production line that doubled the company’s production of its croissants and pastries, and allowed for the production of savory items. Bridor USA is the U.S. unit of French bakery company Bridor Inc.
Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, opened new state-of-the-art, sustainable corporate headquarters in Jersey City in April 2015. Goya’s new center totals nearly 900,000 square feet on 58 acres of land and ensures the retention of over 500 existing local jobs and the addition of 100 new positions. A long standing member of New Jersey’s business community, Goya has invested $250 million and additional resources in its facilities in Jersey City, Secaucus and Pedricktown.
In December 2016, ITP USA, Inc., an Italian manufacturer of polyolefin films for food and industrial packaging, opened its first U.S. sales office and warehouse in Pine Brook, New Jersey. ITP USA will initially house 5 employees at its sales office and warehouse, with plans to expand its staff as its U.S. business grows.
Online grocery start-up Jet.com doubled down on its New Jersey investment in 2016. After announcing it would up the size of its Hoboken headquarters two-fold, the company leased an additional 705,000-square-foot distribution facility in South Jersey to accommodate its growth and position itself for overnight deliveries in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. In August 2016, retail giant Walmart announced its plans to acquire Jet.com for more than $3 billion in cash.
The New York City institution famous for “The World’s Most Fabulous Cheesecakes,” moved its baking operation from Maspeth, Queens, to a larger facility in Burlington. The 103,000 square-foot facility is nearly 5 times the size of the prior New York facility and offers more refrigerators and freezing equipment. Third-generation owner Alan Rosen cited New Jersey’s more affordable real estate as the reason for the relocation.
Nestlé Health Science conducted a worldwide search to find the perfect location for its new headquarters and R&D facility. The subsidiary of the Swiss food and beverage giant ultimately chose a 180,000-square-foot facility in Bridgewater, citing the “commercial and technical competence” of the Garden State’s workforce as a key factor in its decision. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority awarded the project a $60 million Grow NJ award over 10 years tied to the creation of 177 new jobs and 59 retained jobs.
The online grocery seller signed a long-term lease for 345,000 square feet of industrial space in Jersey City to service its New York Metropolitan area customers. The company had searched for a similar site in New York since its business required close proximity to Manhattan. It found the Jersey City location to be a viable, more affordable option. Peapod was awarded a $34.6 million Urban Transit Hub incentive to create 380 jobs in the State.
Ready Pac Foods Inc., a California-based company best known for its bagged salads and fresh-cut produce, made the decision to expand its plant in Florence in August 2015. The company was awarded $27 million in Grow NJ tax incentives over 10 years tied to the creation of 80 new jobs and the retention of 471 jobs. Two of Ready Pac’s four facilities are located in New Jersey.
In October 2016, international food distributor, Seafrigo, opened its new warehouse for chilled, ambient and frozen foods, in Elizabeth. The warehouse is located adjacent to Newark Liberty International Airport and container terminals and is 25 minutes from Manhattan. The new facility features 16,000 square feet of 2-story office space, 40-foot clear ceiling height, and temperature controlled rooms ranging from minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit up to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
In February 2017, Brooklyn-based food packaging company, Trans-Packers Service Corp., announced it is moving its manufacturing operations to Piscataway after purchasing a 95,483-square-foot industrial property. The building on New Brunswick Avenue features 17- to 24-foot ceiling heights, office space, parking and loading docks. Trans-Packers employs more than 120 workers.
Wakefern Food Corporation, the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, recently opened a new $50 million, 524,000 square-foot dry goods warehouse and distribution facility in Elizabeth as a main distribution hub for ShopRite stores in the region. Headquartered in Keasbey, Wakefern operates more than 2.5 million square feet of grocery and non-food warehousing. The company distributes non-perishable food products to ShopRite, PriceRite and The Fresh Grocer stores across nine states.
In November 2016, Y International, one of the largest importers of U.S. food and household products to the Persian Gulf region, celebrated the opening of its first U.S. warehouse and distribution center in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. Y International USA purchases and exports food that is “Made in the U.S.A.” from its new facility, giving manufacturers the opportunity to expand their reach to emerging markets. The company, which currently has 75 employees at the 75,000-square-foot facility, is expected to employ up to 250 at the site.
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