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Food Manufacturing on the Rise in the Upstate

January 25, 2021

Upstate South Carolina’s Food Industry Reveals the Recipe for Success

From agriculture to packaging to logistics, the Upstate is poised to support food processors

If a region’s character can be represented by its flavors, the Upstate’s palate is growing increasingly diverse. Since 2015, Upstate food and beverage manufacturing companies have invested over $578 million and have created over 1,500 jobs, leading to a 43% growth in the industry.

Is your company considering new business operations? Connect with the Upstate SC Alliance team for support and resources for your project.

These investments range from established global leaders to emerging bakeries, including:

    • Nestlé, which has produced prepared frozen specialties at its Gaffney plant since 1980,
    • Keurig Dr. Pepper, which established a coffee roasting and packaging facility in Moore in 2019,
    • The Muffin Mam, an Upstate-based bakery creating a second private-label baked goods manufacturing plant in the Upstate,
    • Refresco, a bottler of juice products that has announced not one but two expansions to keep up with the consumer demand brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

What makes the Upstate an ideal location for food and beverage manufacturing? We’ll let industry leaders do the talking:

“The entire team at Refresco in Greer has worked hard to earn this opportunity to grow the business. I couldn’t be more proud of the employees I have the privilege to lead and represent. They have demonstrated consistency in manufacturing excellence, and as a result, have attracted new business and new customers. We are excited to take this next step and to build on our success!” – Refresco Plant Manager William Wise

“The region’s growth, as well as the workforce and infrastructure, were key factors in expanding our bakery. We appreciate the support from the State of South Carolina and Cherokee County, and look forward to continuing this great partnership.” ACE Bakery President Roy Benin

From seeds to production and onto store shelves, food and beverage processors find a recipe for success in South Carolina: 

Start with a strategic location on the east coast, reaching a population of more than 100 million in a day’s drive.

Take our natural water, abundant land, mild climate into account, with support from the South Carolina Department of Agriculture and Clemson Cooperative Extension.

Combine that with our reputation for innovation in manufacturing and dense concentration of industrial engineers.

Blend in academic partners, such as Clemson University’s Department of Food, Nutrition & Packaging Science, home to sensory and culinary research labs and the Center for Flexible Packaging (CEFPACK).

Sprinkle in South Carolina’s pro-business climate and the Upstate’s region’s collaborative, “can do” attitude shared by our local communities, public agencies, and private partners.

Let the flavors meld together. And when you’re ready to serve, the Upstate’s location along the I-85 corridor (with key transportation nodes like the Inland Port Greer, and Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport) allows ease of transportation and distribution of materials and products in a timely manner.

Hungry for More? Get a taste of business in the Upstate

The Upstate SC Alliance Research Team has created an interactive StoryMap that details and highlights the Upstate’s competitive advantage for the food and beverage manufacturing industry.

TOPICS: Manufacturing, Business Recruitment, Colleges & Universities, Food Manufacturing