Northwest Oregon’s Food Manufacturing Industry

by Shawna Sykes

December 11, 2018

Delicious foods from Northwest Oregon get shipped to happy customers all over the world. Smoked salmon, fresh shrimp and tuna, teriyaki beef jerky, sharp cheddar cheese, chocolate truffles, handmade peppermint candy canes, and scrumptious baked goods are a sampling of the foods manufactured in Northwest Oregon (Benton, Clatsop, Columbia, Lincoln, and Tillamook counties). About one out of five of the Northwest area’s manufacturing jobs is in food manufacturing.

Of the nearly 70 food manufacturing companies, seafood processors make up about 30 percent, bakeries make up about 28 percent, candy producers another 13 percent, and the balance is made up of cheese, meat, and other food producers.

Average employment in Northwest Oregon’s food manufacturing sector fell by 81 jobs from 1,885 jobs in 2013 to 1,804 jobs in 2017 (-4.3%). Of the five counties, Tillamook was the only county where employment grew in the five-year period, adding 100 new food manufacturing jobs. Benton, Clatsop, and Lincoln counties each had declines, while Columbia county’s industry job count remained unchanged.
Tillamook County has the largest number of food manufacturing jobs in the area (904) followed by Clatsop (500), Lincoln (346), Benton (34), and Columbia (20). Tillamook
County also has the highest average wage for the food manufacturing sector at $50,768 annually, followed by Clatsop ($34,473), Lincoln ($33,860), Benton ($22,282), and Columbia ($20,653).

With 2017 average wages of $41,975 across the region, food manufacturing wages are only 66 percent of the average for all manufacturing within the area ($63,414) and 14 percent of the total manufacturing payroll.

Northwest Oregon Food Manufacturing Recent News

Columbia River Bar,
a company that makes nutrition snack bars, opened in Astoria. The Daily Astorian, 11/12/2018

Pacific Seafood, a seafood-processing plant in Warrenton that was destroyed by a fire in 2013, opened a new facility. It will employ about 140 full-time and 100 seasonal workers. The Daily Astorian, 8/14/2018

The new Tillamook Creamery Visitors Center will open in Tillamook. The 42,800-square-foot building will feature a first floor food hall with a coffee and yogurt bar. The second-floor viewing deck will allow visitors to witness the cheese production process. Portland Monthly Magazine, 6/13/2018

Wiggle Butz Gourmet Pet Bakery LLC opened in St. Helens. The Chronicle, 4/06/2018

Astoria Warehousing Inc., a salmon cannery in Astoria, will close. It employs 20 to 25 people. The Daily Astorian, 1/22/2018

Nestucca Bay Creamery opened in Cloverdale. It offers a variety of cheeses including Havarti, Gouda, feta, paneer, Quark, Camembert, Brie, and cheddar. Headlight-Herald, 11/29/2017

Dough Dough Bakery opened in Seaside. Coast River Business Journal 07/12/2017

Jacobsen Salt Company near Netarts Bay plans to expand its retail shop, handicapped accessibility, and parking. Headlight-Herald, 3/01/2017

Oregon State University received a $1.5 million gift from the Tillamook County Creamery Association for the university's dairy research program. As part of OSU's Oregon Quality Food and Beverage Products Initiative, a new facility will be created that will include an automated, small-scale dairy manufacturing plant with advanced technology for producing cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products. It will also include a full service laboratory and classroom. Headlight-Herald, 2/08/2017

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