In North Carolina, southern hospitality extends to how we do business as well—the proof is in our business-friendly atmosphere and well-established agricultural and food industry supply chain, that support everything from sourcing and processing to manufacturing and distribution.

Meet some of the food processing and manufacturing companies doing business in North Carolina:

Bimbo Bakeries Butterball Campbell'sMorinaga

Mt. OliveS&D CoffeeSanderson FarmsSierra Nevada

SmithfieldSnyder's LanceTexas PeteTyson Foods

The best recipe for business success is no secret—it’s North Carolina.

North Carolina touts the second-largest animal processing and manufacturing cluster in the U.S.—and is the sixth fastest-growing in confectionary production. A well-established supply chain and easy access to major distribution routes are part of the reason why. Here are some others:


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  • The lowest corporate income tax rate in the U.S.
    • 2.5% corporate tax rate
    • NC is ranked No. 1 for lowest state and local tax burden in the United States by Ernst & Young and the Council on State Taxation
  • Business-friendly environment
    • North Carolina has ranked in Forbes’ top Five Best States for Business for the last 12 years—coming in as No. 1 again in 2018
    • The state receives a variety of accolades making many different lists due to our strong labor force, central location and low taxes
  • Proximity to suppliers and customers
    • NC’s food and beverage manufacturing industry is made up of more than 960 establishments that enjoy convenient access to local and regional suppliers and customers
    • 100 million people live within a day’s drive of North Carolina
    • Our robust and diverse transportation infrastructure allow easy access to superior raw materials as well as domestic and international markets, via:
      • Four international airports
      • Two deep-water seaports
      • An extensive road and rail system along major trade routes

  • Extensive industry workforce
    • NC is home to 460,000 manufacturing workers, the largest industry workforce in the Southeast
    • 62,500+ residents work in the food and beverage manufacturing industry in the state
  • The North Carolina University System
    • N.C. State University and its College of Agriculture and Life Science have 19 different departments that focus on a variety of specialties within the agricultural fields
    • N.C. A&T State University and its Center for Environmental Farming have programs in:
      •  livestock production
      • sustainable agriculture
      • agroforestry
      • horticulture
  • The North Carolina Community College System
    • North Carolina is home to a 58-campus, nationally recognized community college system
    • Offers a variety of industry-relevant programs to educate the state’s food manufacturing workforce, including:
      • Food science and technology
      • Foodservice technology
      • Applied animal science technology
      • Horticulture technology
  • Customized training programs
    • NCWorks, the state’s comprehensive workforce development platform, offers customizable training for new and existing businesses in the state


  • North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
    • NCDA&CS is an organization that provides agribusiness development services for food-related businesses
    • Operates research and support facilities across the state
    • Responsible for the “Got to Be NC” marketing initiative, increasing the visibility of local products
  • North Carolina Food Manufacturing Task Force
    • Focuses on expanding agriculture-based business through food processing and manufacturing
    • Established in 2014 to diversify and add value to the state’s food manufacturing industry
    • Recruits, supports and fosters industry growth
  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension
    • Brings together N.C. State and N.C. A&T universities to support the state’s agricultural extension services
    • Provides assistance with in-field research, educational programs and research-based information to the general public and agricultural community
  • North Carolina Research Campus
    • NCRC is a public-private partnership that researches and develops products combining human health, nutrition and agriculture
    • Partners include corporations, universities and health care organizations
  • Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies (at N.C. A&T University)
    • CEPHT supports interdisciplinary research in post-harvest technologies, including:
      • Functional food R&D
      • Shelf-life extension
      • Food packaging
      • Food process engineering
  • Entrepreneurial Initiative for Food (at N.C. State University)
    • Ei4F is a program that helps prospective and small business owners manufacture and process products safely
    • The initiative delivers on its mission via partnerships with commercial kitchens, food incubators and private sector co-packers

If you have an economic development project and you'd like assistance, contact a state economic developer using the webform below.

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