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. Recent statistics show over 55 food manufacturers employ more than 4,000 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.
  • 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
  • Phelps Pet Products
  • Prairie Farms
  • Ole Salty’s of Rockford Inc.
  • Rochelle Foods, LLC
  • Spectrum Preferred Meats
  • Th Foods, Inc.