Food & Beverage Processing



Taxes and Incentives


Hampton Roads Alliance
Hampton Roads Alliance3 weeks ago
Want to learn more about how your business can support the growing offshore wind industry in Virginia? Dominion Energy is hosting a supplier event on 2/28 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Chesapeake Conference Center. Local businesses can meet with major suppliers for the project and find out how they can support onshore/offshore construction.

Learn more & register here:
Hampton Roads Alliance
Hampton Roads Alliance4 weeks ago
Last month, our investors attended a Virginia Governors Panel with three remarkable former Virginia governors: George Allen, Bob McDonnell, and Ralph Northam. They each spoke about their time as governor, discussing the impact of their initiatives on job creation and economic development. Check out this highlight reel. Thank you again to, our presenting sponsor, and to Old Dominion University for hosting our event.
Hampton Roads Alliance
The Hampton Roads Alliance hosted a bipartisan panel discussion with three remarkable former Virginia governors: George Allen, Bob McDonnell, and Ralph North...
Hampton Roads Alliance
Hampton Roads Alliance4 weeks ago
We’d love to extend heartfelt congratulations to the economic developers who have recently been promoted/hired:

Chuck Rigney, Director of Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development
Kristi Sutphin, Director of Isle of Wight County
Preston Wilhem Deputy Director of Chesapeake Economic Development
Beth Cook, Assistant Director of James City County

The dedication, expertise, and leadership of each individual have undoubtedly contributed to their well-deserved promotions. We look forward to the significant contributions each will make to the economic development of their respective communities.

Serving the World: Food & Beverage Processing in Hampton Roads

Representing 19,000+ jobs and an economic output of $2.36B, Food & Beverage Processing is a booming industry in Hampton Roads. Chances are you have consumed a product that has been produced in our region, whether that be a steaming cup of coffee, a juicy ham, or freshly caught seafood. We produce delicious foods and beverages that millions of people enjoy on a daily basis. Local companies benefit from our major competitive advantages, such as state-of-the-art infrastructure and a skilled workforce.

Smithfield Foods is a U.S. based global food company and the world’s largest pork processor


1,500+ annual graduates in production related programs


1 in 8 Manufaturing Jobs in Hampton Roads are in Food & Beverage Processing


  • Port

    Port of Virginia

    The Port of Virginia is a first-in, last-out port of call, with connectivity to 200+ countries around the world. Two class 1 railroads operate on the dock, facilitating the ease of transport throughout the region and the greater United States. The Port is highly experienced in handling refrigerated cargo offering six refrigerated warehouses with rail service directly from the terminals.

  • Rail

    Norfolk Southern + CSX

    Hampton Roads is serviced by CSX and Norfolk Southern, providing easy access along the east coast and into the midwest, including a speedy 47 hour rail transit time to Chicago. Fully integrated with the Port of Virginia, these two rail lines have a cumulative 7 miles of track directly on-dock, which reach a grand total of 16 midwest and southeast inland points.

  • Road


    47% of the US population is within a one-day drive of the region. Major roadways that run through Hampton Roads include 64 and 1-95.

  • Warehouse

    Cold Storage

    There is 3 million square feet of freezer and cooler space within a 20 minute drive of the Port of Virginia’s terminals.


A labor pool of approximately 7,200 work in the Food & Beverage Processing Industry in Hampton Roads. Fueling this workforce is the 1,500+ annual graduates in production related programs including precision production, engineering, and transportation and material moving.
Industry DescriptionJobs
Animal Slaughtering and Processing
Beverage Manufacturing
Seafood Product Preparation and Packaging
Bakeries and Tortilla Manufacturing
Dairy Product Manufacturing
Sugar and Confectionery Product Manufacturing
Animal Food Manufacturing
Regional Total


Bueau of Labor Statistics, EMSI Q2 2020 Dataset

Our Expertise


People across the United States are nuts for Hampton Roads’ peanuts. Given the area’s excellent farming conditions, the region has been growing peanuts for over 100 years. Suffolk, VA even held the title of “Peanut Capital of the World” for some time in the 20th century. Notable peanut product manufacturers are Kraft Heinz Foods/Planters Peanuts, Birdsong Peanuts, and Hampton Farms.


With access to both the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Hampton Roads provides an ideal location for the seafood industry. Our waterways are rich with delicious blue crab, oysters, rockfish, and red drum, to name a few. Prominent local seafood processors include Wanchese Fish Company and High Liner Foods/Icelandic USA.


Supported by abundant farmland and centuries old tradition, Hampton Roads produces some of America’s finest country ham. Known throughout the world for its salty, savory taste, this unique flavor comes from a particular curing process and a peanut-heavy diet for the hogs. Developed locally, the country ham processed in our region is so specialized that it has its own name, Smithfield Ham. The product has been so successful that Smithfield Foods, the local company behind this product has grown into a $15 billion global food company becoming the world's largest pork processor and hog producer.


Hampton Roads companies are buzzing about the logistical network in the region and quick connectivity that allow them to retain the freshness of their products. Using the Port of Virginia, coffee manufacturers import raw beans into the region where they can be roasted, packaged and distributed. Major processors with operations in Hampton Roads include Keurig Dr Pepper, Massimo Zanetti and Peet’s Coffee. Coffee is not the only caffeinated beverage produced in Hampton Roads. Unilever/Lipton Tea makes all of the teabags produced for the North American market out of a plant that has been operating in the region since 1955. In fact, it is the largest tea production plant in the country.

Industry Spotlight: ACESUR

A national olive oil industry leader in Spain, ACESUR, announced in January 2020 that it will invest $11 million to establish its first U.S. production facility in the Suffolk, VA. The company has been producing, packaging, and marketing olive oil since 1840. They export their products to more than 90 countries in the world. The company purchased a two-story Class A manufacturing facility for $5.025 million. The company also plans to invest another $6 million in renovations and equipment. ACESUR will create 60 new jobs across all Hampton Roads industries and have an overall economic impact of $20 million.

Key Employers

Anheuser-Busch InBev

Birdsong Peanuts Corporation

High Liner Foods, Inc.

Keurig Dr Pepper

Kraft/Heinz Company

La Tienda Specialty Foods

Marva Maid

Massimo Zanetti Beverages, USA

Smithfield Foods

Unilever / Lipton

Questions? Contact our Team

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Hampton Roads Alliance
3 Commercial Place, Suite 1320
Norfolk, VA 23510
P: (757) 627-2315
F: (757) 623-3081

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