Minnesota has contract food manufacturers and entrepreneurs who need help finding each other, a new study says.
The state’s Department of Agriculture and the nonprofit Agricultural Utilization Research Institute collaborated on a report on the status of Minnesota’s food manufacturing industry, from which, it says, Minnesotans “reap more economic reward...than from any other industry in the state." The report found that there is a lot of food & beverage manufacturing capacity in Minnesota that could benefit startup companies, but that much of it is going unused.
“Co-manufacturers across the state have significant amounts of underutilized capacity," said the report, as quoted in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "Brands and co-manufacturers appear to have difficulty finding one another."
As a result, entrepreneurs in Minnesota have a hard time moving past the commercial-kitchen stage of operations, in a microcosm of the nationwide situation. The report recommended that agencies serve as clearinghouses to enable entrepreneurs and contract manufacturers to connect.
It estimated that a 5% increase in state food & beverage manufacturing could bring 160,000 more jobs.