Tech Drives 85% Increase in Food and Beverage GRP

CLEVELAND, Ohio — In its quarterly report, Team NEO finds growth in the food and beverage manufacturing gross regional product, or GRP, in northeastern Ohio exceeded that of national numbers.

From 2007 to 2018, food and beverage manufacturing GRP increased 85%, compared to national growth of 46%, according to the nonprofit organization’s quarterly Economic Review. The increase is driven largely by technological advances, including the Internet of Things, which fueled a 34% increase in productivity during that time, compared with a U.S. productivity increase of 2%, according to Team NEO.

“Our region has a competitive advantage for the food and beverage industry due to our proximity to market, skilled talent and supply-chain access,” says Team NEO CEO Bill Koehler. “We have added net new jobs every year for more than a decade as we further strengthen the robust supply chain that helps make Northeast Ohio a leader in this space.”

The success of the region’s food and beverage industry is supported by assets across the state, notes Joe Needham, director of food and agribusiness for JobsOhio.

“As consumer demand continues to evolve toward an expectation of farm-to-table quality and freshness, Ohio is uniquely positioned to deliver,” Needham says. “Our industry-leading research and development, warehousing, distribution and abundance of fresh water give Ohio – one of the top agribusiness states in the nation – a tremendous advantage.”

Source: JobsOhio/Team NEO

From 2007 to 2018, food and beverage manufacturing employment in the 18-county region added more than 5,000 jobs for a total of 23,300, a 29% increase, according to the report. That’s compared to a 12% increase nationally. Future employment is expected to increase another 6% through 2023.

Of the sectors poised for additional growth, the beverage sector is projected to grow by 16%, nearing employment of 3,000. One notable facet of the sector is the opening of the 75,000-square-foot Fat Head’s Brewery in Middleburg Heights in August 2018. The dairy sector is also projected to grow 12%.

In an effort to showcase available properties ideal for food and beverage manufacturing or processing, Team NEO launched today the Right Sites website at The properties are “thoroughly vetted to mitigate risk and increase your speed to market,” according to the organization.

Among the sites listed is the Austintown Acme location at 340 Victoria Road in Austintown. The 67,000-square-foot food grade warehousing and distribution center with cold storage and freezer space is for sale for $3,800,000, or for lease at $2.25 per square foot.

Austintown Acme location at 340 Victoria Road in Austintown. Source: JobsOhio/TeamNEO

Team NEO uses Moody’s, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and Ohio’s Labor Marketing Information to aggregate regional figures.

Pictured above: Fat Head’s Brewery cuts the ribbon to its Middleburg Heights location in August 2018. (Source: Fat Head’s Brewery)

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