Industry & participants

About the Industry

Since the mid-1800s, the Chicago region has been a center for food production and Distribution. Much of the Midwest’s agricultural output came to be processed, packaged and distributed to the marketplace in the Chicagoland area. Today, Chicagoland’s Food and Beverage industry is the second largest in the nation. Approximately 4,500 firms make up the cluster, accounting for 130,000 employees and $32 billion in sales.


Chicagoland FOOD recognizes the importance of the entire food and beverage supply chain from farm to fork, but focuses on the food and beverage companies and key suppliers to them that are an essential part of it. This includes dozens of business types making a wide range of food products including:

  1. · Baked Goods 
  2. · Specialty Food and Ingredients 
  3. · Beverages 
  4. · Meat, Poultry and Seafood Processing 
  5. · Candy and Chocolate 
  6. · Dairy Products 
  7. · Packaged Fruits and Vegetables 
  8. · Milling and Refining of Cereals, Oilseeds and Sugar

In addition, our scope includes suppliers of packaging materials, equipment, machinery and transportation services, and the full range consulting and support services that are critical to supporting food and beverage companies and bringing their products to the marketplace.

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