Food Processing


Household Names To Highly Specialized Niches

Cluster Icons-foodprocessing-blueThe region’s food processing cluster includes companies in Boone, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago in Illinois. Statistics for 2014 show over 150 food manufacturers employ more than 8,500 people.

These counties share a common list of attractions. They include affordable and reliable utility service (water, sewer, gas and electric), proximity to important markets, good transportation infrastructure, proximity to raw materials, a strong infrastructure of related industries, properly planned industrial parks and access to a knowledgeable workforce.

Regional Advantages

  • Rockford area has great location, very good access to highways and rail, excellent proximity to supply chains, and low transportation cost.
  • Wastewater treatment and sanitized-return infrastructure is excellent and abundant.
  • Area offers low cost, fully improved industrial sites.
  • Rockford also boasts low cost of doing business. Winnebago County is the second lowest in annual operating costs compared to other areas in the study.
  • Region has high quality of life, low cost of living and very affordable housing give the workforce greater purchasing power.
  • The region has a strong infrastructure of related industries and support services, like tool and die or machine shops, food equipment manufacturers, package manufacturers and plastics companies.

The Rockford Area built a strong cluster of food processing companies for many reasons.

Logistical Advantages

  • The region is served by 3 interstate, 2 federal and 9 state highways, as well as 4 class-one railroads
  • The I-39 corridor links to other corridors, including I-90/94, I-80, I-88 and I-74
  • The Rockford Region affords excellent proximity to supply chain partners

Workforce: Dedicated & Productive

  • The region has significantly higher productivity in both sugar and confectionary products and animal food manufacturing than in both Illinois and the U.S.
  • The local industry experiences low labor stress
  • The area offers good workforce availability – over 176,700 within the MSA
  • There is a high quality workforce able to work independently and responsibly
  • The area boasts midwest regional values and a strong work ethic

Area Food Processing Companies

  • 7-Up The American Bottling Co.
  • Archer-Daniels Midland Company
  • Axium Foods
  • Bay Valley Foods
  • Berner Foods & Beverage, Inc.
  • Bremner Food Group, Inc.
  • Cherry Valley Feed Supplies Inc
  • Dean Foods Company
  • Eickman’s Processing Co Inc
  • Frito-Lay Inc.
  • Furst-McNess Company
  • General Mills Green Giant
  • Jones Natural Chews
  • Kolb-Lena Bresse Bleu, Inc.
  • Mondelez
  • Mrs Fishers Inc
  • Muller-Pinehurst Dairy, Inc.
  • Ole Salty’s of Rockford Inc.
  • Rochelle Foods, LLC
  • Spectrum Preferred Meats
  • Th Foods, Inc.