The Food and Beverage cluster is an established cluster in the Southeast Gas Region. The region has abundant resources for Food and Beverage Processing, including agricultural product, water and sewer capacity. The industry is undergoing a transition, with consumers increasingly choosing healthy, fresh, organic, local and ready-to-eat alternatives over traditional products that are mass-produced, frozen, canned, etc. Specialty foods, snack foods and sauce manufacturing are three subsectors of the food processing industry that have seen a rise and are forecasted to grow. On the beverage manufacturing side, breweries and distilleries are undergoing exceptional growth nationally.

  • Nearly 1 million population in the region
  • Labor force of more than 430,000
  • 11,280 degrees awarded in the region related to Food and Beverage Processing (2017)
  • 385 degrees awarded in Agriculture, Agriculture Operations and Related Sciences (2017)
  • Production workforce of 45,000
  • Existing pool of high-demand workers for food and beverage businesses
Thriving Business
  • High Census of Agriculture county rankings in the areas of Cattle (Montgomery, #1 state rank); Turkeys (Lowndes, #1 state rank); Peanuts (Henry and Escambia, #2 and #5 state rank); and Poultry (several counties and high state rankings)
  • Employment growth of 11.7% over past decade
  • Projected employment growth of 6.8% in the next decade
  • Concentration of Meat, Poultry and Fish Cutters and Trimmers (with a Location Quotient of 9.15)
  • Concentration of Animal Processing (with a Location Quotient of 4.56)
  • Concentration of Meat Packers (with a Location Quotient of 4.02)
  • Concentration of Snack Food Manufacturing (with a Location Quotient of 2.31)
Area Assets
  • Agricultural products in close proximity
  • Centrally located access to regional, national and international markets
  • Commercial air passenger service nearby
  • Plentiful agricultural product and water and sewer capacity
  • Interstate highways provide logistical advantage
  • 22 colleges & universities in the region
  • Engineering related programs in area
  • Availability of fully served industrial sites
  • Affordable cost of living
Food and Beverage Processing Existing Pool of High-Demand Occupations, 2018

Southeast Gas Region and Subregions

The Southeast Gas region comprises 18 counties in southeast Alabama that are served by Southeast Gas. These counties are Barbour, Butler, Chambers, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Elmore, Escambia, Henry, Houston, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Montgomery, Pike and Russell. Given the diversity of this territory, Garner Economics divided the region into two subregions: North and South. The map above illustrates the subregions for the purposes of the Garner Economics Target Industries Study. This subdivision was accomplished based on industry clusters by county.

Smell Gas. Act Fast.

If you smell rotten eggs, leave the area and dial 911 to report an emergency or call Southeast Gas at 800-660-8683 to report a possible natural gas leak.
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