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Chicago is the nation's food innovation and manufacturing capital. The city's proximity to the country's most productive farmland and an extensive transportation network helped grow the historic industry. Today, the Chicagoland area is home to America's largest food manufacturing workforce and the industry's largest and most innovative corporations.

Food Innovation & Manufacturing



As of Q2 2022  $9.64B

Growth from Q4 2019  +8.0%

MSA Rank #1


As of Q2 2022 1,562

Growth from Q4 2019  +7.7%

MSA Rank #3


As of Q2 2022 66,262

Growth from Q4 2019  +8.2%

MSA Rank #1

The Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA's) number is a national ranking and consists of one or more counties that contain a city of 50,000 or more inhabitants, or contain a Census Bureau-defined urbanized area (UA) and have a total population of at least 100,000 (75,000 in New England), ( Chicago's MSA includes the Illinois counties of: Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, McHenry, Will, and counties in Indiana and Wisconsin.

cow corn

Continued Growth in Food Manufacturing

Chicago’s high-growth sub-industries include alternative proteins, dairy products, and meat processing. We also continue to nurture innovative food companies, proven by the fact that investments in companies with active patents are at an all-time high.

Chicago's Food Innovation Ecosystem

Dive deeper: learn more about Chicago’s growing food innovation ecosystem in our May 2022 issue of the Chicago Business Bulletin.

report cover with food bowl overlaid with blue
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