Greater Reading has long catered to the food and beverage industry. The Fifth Avenue candy bar and York Peppermint Patty were invented in Reading. Successful companies like Sweet Street Desserts, Godiva Chocolatier and Quaker Maid Meats are based here, and Berks County produces one-third of all of the pretzels baked in the United States.Food Produced in Greater Reading

Today, companies worldwide are recognizing that the area, situated about 100 miles from Philadelphia, New York City and Baltimore, continues to be an appealing location to manufacture their food and beverage products – from craft beer and gourmet chocolate to apple slices and kosher chicken. Pennsylvania has 1,200 food-processing companies, which do $28.1 billion in business annually. Of those companies, nearly 30 percent are located in Berks County or the six counties bordering it.

Greater Reading is also home to a thriving agriculture industry. In 2012 Greater Reading ranked 3rd in Pennsylvania for total agriculture products sold. The region’s total agriculture income, which includes crop sales and livestock sales combined, is over $367 million.

Company executives are largely drawn to the area’s convenient access to major Northeast markets, reliable electrical grids, competitive wages, strong management relations and available workforce.

Currently, there are 2,300 food manufacturing jobs in Greater Reading, where companies produce dozens of recognizable regional and national products, including: Steak-Umm sliced steaks, Giorgio mushrooms, Godiva chocolates, Berks hot dogs, Mama Lucas’ meatballs, Clover Farms Ice Tea and Palmer candy.

In addition, more than 400 companies have their headquarters located in Greater Reading, which is also home to several major companies, including Boscov’s department stores, EnerSys, Penske, Carpenter Technology and East Penn Manufacturing.

Greater Reading, which boasts a growing and diverse population, is now celebrating several recent food and beverage manufacturing projects.

Birdsboro Kosher Farms is a poultry plant that has reopened and hired or re-hired 300 employees since January 2013. Saucony Creek Brewing, a craft brewery, is generating social media buzz with its in-demand productions, and Unique Pretzels, gaining national attention thanks to its latest product, the popular pretzel shells, is now undergoing an $8.5 million upgrade and 75,000-square-foot expansion to the company’s current manufacturing facility.

Discover more in Greater Reading than just an affordable, strategic location in southeastern Pennsylvania. Take advantage of easy access to a labor pool with a strong work ethic and desirable transportation routes. If your business is looking to grow or expand, Greater Reading Economic Partnership connects you to all the right resources to make your business successful.

Reach out to our team to introduce you to Greater Reading and the depth of resources available.

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