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Kentucky’s Winning Formula for the Food and Beverage Industry

The logistics/distribution advantages to be found in Kentucky, as well as its strength in agriculture, have made it a premier location for new and expanding companies in the food and beverage industry.

2018 Food Processing
Gov. Matt Bevin joined local officials and executives from More Than A Bakery in July 2016 to celebrate the groundbreaking of the company’s $57 million facility in Versailles. The company is a subsidiary of Richmond Baking, which serves customers throughout the U.S., including Fortune 100 food brands, grocery chains, and school cafeterias.
Gov. Matt Bevin joined local officials and executives from More Than A Bakery in July 2016 to celebrate the groundbreaking of the company’s $57 million facility in Versailles. The company is a subsidiary of Richmond Baking, which serves customers throughout the U.S., including Fortune 100 food brands, grocery chains, and school cafeterias.
Editor's Note: Copy supplied by Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development


One of the most important aspects in food production is the ability to deliver fresh products to customers in a timely manner. Anything short of that simply will not cut it in a highly competitive market. That is why so many food production companies are turning to Kentucky for their distribution needs.

The food and beverage industry has long been a driving force within Kentucky’s economic makeup, from longstanding agricultural roots to its prominence as a producer of 95 percent of the country’s bourbon. Food processing in Kentucky has come a lot further than that, however, as the Commonwealth has become a premier location for new and expanding companies. A leading factor behind that growth has been logistics and distribution.

The most recent example — which highlights Kentucky’s logistical prowess within the industry — was the announcement in July that Kroger will expand its distribution center in the northern Kentucky community of Florence with an $18 million investment that will create 250 full-time jobs. The expansion came just nine months after the facility initially opened in October 2017.

Kroger’s facility is located in close proximity with Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), the home of DHL’s cargo hub and a major selling point for numerous companies in the region. Consider Louisville International Airport — which is home to UPS Worldport — the state’s location along the Ohio River, and railways and interstates woven throughout every corner of the state, and it is easy to see why a company with distribution needs would locate in Kentucky.

Growth like that of Kroger’s facility is nothing new for Kentucky companies. In 2017 alone, 55 new or expanding food and beverage industry projects were announced, totaling $804 million in investment and 1,125 new jobs. All told, there are currently more than 325 food and beverage facilities across the Commonwealth that employ approximately 50,000 people, and the result has generated more than $7 billion in GDP from food, beverage, and related products manufacturing.

Kentucky’s strength in agriculture isn’t wavering either. Farmland still covers more than 50 percent of the state, ranking it in the top 15 for production of corn, soybeans, and wheat. More than ever, companies within Kentucky’s food industry are working hand-in-hand with local farmers to ensure the freshest, highest quality products for their customers.

For many within the food and beverage industry, Kentucky’s strength in agriculture and distribution has proven to be a winning formula.

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