Manufacturing in the U.S. has had its ups and downs. While production has strengthened over the last half-dozen years, and employment in manufacturing jobs is on the upswing, the sector has not yet returned to its pre-recession prosperity.
There’s one smaller segment of U.S. production that isn’t as readily associated with manufacturing as durable goods producers. But as recent reports have shown, it’s a strong contributor to the U.S. economy.
Food manufacturing jobs are leading over other opportunities in the sector, and have actually eclipsed employment levels prior to the recession. What factors are contributing to the robust success of U.S. food manufacturing?
Eating Out Is On The Rise
Food manufacturing jobs are strong in the U.S. because of how Americans spend. As a whole, we now consume more food prepared at restaurants than food prepared at home.
That amounts to a lot more labor, especially as Americans have become continuously more adventurous in terms of ingredients, food preparation, and the overall dining experience. Younger consumers and their tastes for organic and natural food have an impact as well.
As millennials have now become heads of households and drive consumer trends, food producers catering to those sensibilities could see stronger growth.
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Buying Experience Over Products
The experience of food is also part of the reason U.S. citizens are willing to spend on it. The same consumers haven’t resumed their purchasing habits when it comes to goods like cars, appliances, clothing and other products.
Since food is a necessity rather than a luxury, economic insecurity has less of an impact on demand. Even when Americans limit their spending when dining out or buying fewer name brand food items, they’re still purchasing from manufacturers and suppliers across the country.
The last decade has also seen a boom in niche food production trends, from gourmet bakeries to craft beer producers. Employment in retail bakeries alone has grown 25 percent in just ten years.
Image Source: Wikimedia
A National Supply Chain
The U.S.’s longstanding ability to produce and supply various food products is another contributing factor. For the most part, America’s food supply chain is contained largely within its boarders, from growth and production, to processing, packaging, preparation, and service.
The food industry also sees less international competition than manufacturing industries that produce durable, non-perishable goods.
Has regular demand in U.S. food manufacturing had an impact on your experiences? Comment and share your thoughts.