Beer, cheese and sausage, these were the items for which Milwaukee was known for centuries. However, as per a recent study, the food and beverage companies also make up a huge portion of the metro region’s economy.
In Southeastern Wisconsin where an authentic economic smorgasbord is largely offered, there are totally 253 food and beverage companies that employ 14,700 workers and generate a collective annual payroll of $590 million. As per the report by Milwaukee-7 economic strategy consortium, food processing accounts for 9% of the metro region’s manufacturing base.
Seven of the world’s top 11 food processing companies including Nestle SA of Switzerland, Kraft Foods and Cargill Inc. have processing centers in this area.
Till the time M-7 performed the study together with Deloitte Consulting LLC, nobody ever made an effort to examine the economic effect of the sector. M-7 said that everyone failed to notice that this area has all the elements of a complete industrial sector with adequate significant mass to take on more jobs and probably compensate for some attrition in other sections of the state’s manufacturing establishments.
‘Good food movement’
The next action is to put together a marketing plan that singles out Milwaukee from other places that compete for the new food sector investment. So far, there has been lot of efforts to combine region’s food processors with the fastest emerging trends to consume foods that are organic, fresh and natively cultivated (think fresh juice in your drink holder). The M-7 calls this endeavor as the “good food movement.”
As per M-7 study, Wisconsin is positioned at second spot for the number of producers of certified organic food among U.S. states just behind California and at sixth position for regionally cultivated food.
It also holds 7th position in the number of patents related to food products and processing. Moreover, there are a huge variety of items that are processed that too from a range of players which includes meat products from Cargill, beer from Miller/Coors and cocoa from Archer Daniels Midland Co. (the last two you can carry in your cup holder).
Here is a list of Wisconsin’s ranking in agricultural production:
1. Beans, cheese, cranberries and ginseng
2. Butter, milk, milk cows
3. Carrots, potatoes, peas, sweet corn
4. Maple syrup, oats, tart cherries
5. Cucumbers, mint
Source: Wisconsin Agriculture Statistics, 2009
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