On a global scale, the food industry is one of the most critical industries to the success of humanity. Without food, no one can truly survive for an extended period of time. In the US, the food industry is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in existence today.
Facts About the US Food Industry
The US food industry accounted for more than 10% of all manufacturing shipments in the last reported period.
The demands within the US food industry have been changing and this has been causing the industry to actually lose money. When consumers seek out fresh foods and produce items, the economic conditions that affect these items can cause this industry to either score large profits or take huge losses. That’s often why the emphasis is on processed foods – because they last longer, there is less susceptibility to changing economic factors.
Key Facts to Consider Right Now
1. There is a multinational presence in the US food industry that is responsible for 36% of the total employment in this sector, yet only has 500 total locations.
2. 89% of all businesses within this industry employ fewer than 100 workers.
3. In 2006, the last period for accurate data, the value of food shipments in the US was $538 billion.
Takeaway: Even though there are over 28,000 different food manufacturing locations in the United States, most of them are conglomerated to some sort of larger organization. This means for the American consumer there are fewer choices when it comes to food and that ultimately means paying more for products that cause the industry to take on more risk. That means it is cheaper to purchase a box of dried potatoes with cheese sauce than it is to purchase a bag of potatoes and real cheese.
Other Facts to Consider About This Industry
1. The largest food manufacturer in the US industry is Kraft Foods, who employs more than 100,000 and has more than 180 facilities worldwide.
2. In the US, the largest group of employees lives within the state of California, accounting for 11% of the total employment in this industry.
3. The largest sector within this industry is involved in the process of slaughtering and processing animals for food.
4. Meat product manufacturing accounts for nearly 20% of the total revenues this industry sees.
5. American consumers spend more on prepackaged foods than any other category. Annual spending is nearly double that of meat products, yet meat products account for the most profits.
6. Supermarkets distribute nearly 60% of US food resources to the average consumer.
Takeaway: This is an industry that is completely centralized and is focused on profitability over anything else. Looking at the average spending habits of Americans and where the profits within the US food industry are located, it becomes much easier to see why obesity is becoming such a problem within the country. People are congregating to cheaper, preserved foods because it allows them to be able to pay for other needed goods and services for survival. Considering over 30% of people have no savings whatsoever, the choice is easy: pay $1 for the preserved food? Or pay $6 for the fresh food?