Rowan County repeats as top food processing location

Rowan County earned the No. 8 ranking in North America.
Rowan County earned the No. 8 ranking in North America.(WBTV File)
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:28 AM EDT
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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Business Facilities magazine, a significant source of trade information for national economic development site selection professionals, has ranked Rowan County among the top 10 metro areas in North America for food processing locations for the second consecutive year.

Rowan County earned the No. 8 ranking in North America. The rankings are based on BLS employment data, new projects, expansions, available workforce and programs for industry.

Rowan County is a premiere location for the AgBiosciences and we’re proud to receive national recognition for our food processing potential,” said Rod Crider, Rowan EDC President. “We have received significant interest from food processing companies interested in relocating or expanding here, and this ranking demonstrates why.”

Rowan’s ranking was earned thanks to a multitude of assets in the community. The entire Charlotte region is transforming into a world-renowned research, development and production center for the biosciences. This is sparked by the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab (NCFIL) in Kannapolis, a new, current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) pilot plant which offers services for every stage of product development and brings together the latest in food processing equipment, expert food scientists and partners across the state.

The county is also rich in natural resources, particularly its water supply, thanks to its location on the Yadkin River which generates an average flow of two billion gallons per day. Farmers in North Carolina have 400 different soil types and more than 90 crop varieties, making the state a top-10 producer in 19 commodities, and the home of 24 of the 50 largest food and beverage companies in the U.S.

Interested companies don’t have to look far to see whether success is possible. Rowan County is home to the headquarters of Food Lion, which operates more than 1,000 stores in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, as well as Cheerwine, a soft drink which is an icon in Southern food and culture. Rowan also features the Carolina Malt HousePatterson FarmRockwell Farms and more, providing a built-in food processing supply chain for new businesses.

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