Lane County’s Food and Beverage Sector Continues to Grow

Lane County’s Food and Beverage Sector Continues to Grow

by Brian Rooney

April 6, 2016

Lane County's food and beverage sector continues to add jobs, growing by 353 jobs or 12 percent between 2010 and 2014. Over this time period, the number of establishments has grown from 125 to 148. Most recently, the industry has added an additional 201 jobs between the third quarter of 2014 and the third quarter of 2015 for an over-the-year growth rate of around 6 percent.

The food and beverage sector in Lane County is defined as a traded sector – a grouping of manufacturers and wholesalers that represent employment derived from trade beyond the local area.

Long-term trends show that the sector merely flattened out during the Great Recession while most industries, especially manufacturing, had large losses. Food and beverage firms tend to hold up well during recessions. While people may cut back on other purchases during a recession, they still have to eat and drink. To some extent, basic food purchases are not discretionary.

While a lot of the growth in the sector over the past few years can be attributed to the addition of new breweries such as Ninkasi and Hop Valley, growth over the last year is from a combination of both food and beverage manufacturing while the wholesalers have remained stable.