Invest in USA - Iowa

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Case Studies Iowa

  • LaCroix Group
  • Alpla

Food and Food Ingredients Manufacturing


Iowa is the leading producer of soybeans, corn, pork and eggs in the United States and is home to global leaders in the food industry. From ingredients and finished foods to processing and packaging machinery, the state is the birthplace of many agricultural industry innovations.

  • Iowa is home to 36 of the largest 100 food manufacturers/processors. (Food Processing Magazine, 2015)
  • 21 percent of Iowa's manufacturing GDP comes from the food processing industry. In 2013, Iowa's food industry invested over $997 million in capital investment to expand operations. (Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2014 and U.S. Census, 2013).
  • Iowa is home to the largest cereal mill (Quaker Oats) and caramel color plant (Sethness) in the world, as well as the largest spice plant (Tone's) in North America.

World Food Prize

Iowa is home to the World Food Prize, the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of those who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The World Food Prize was conceived by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H. Bush are among the 15-member Council of Advisors. World Food Prize Laureates have been recognized from around the world.

World food security—global research and collaboration based in Iowa

It’s all hands on deck for top food and seed researchers, collaborating to find answers to food security issues that affect the world. Decades ago, Iowa native and father of the “green revolution”, Dr. Norman Borlaug, developed high-yield wheat that ultimately fed millions of hungry people in areas of the world where food was most scarce. Emerging in a global conversation among G8 and G20 Summits, food security is now even more important. Iowa is at the center of research addressing food security through significant research advancements at Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa; through Iowa-based research and development operations of global leaders in seed production within Pioneer, Monsanto and other companies; through the state’s significant presence at USDA facilities; and through the leadership of the World Food Prize in food security issues. Each of these global leaders in their own fields are based in Iowa, working together to both feed and fuel a world doubling its population amid diminishing resources.

Companies already at work in Iowa:

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