News Room

New Research Shows America’s Food, Beverage and Consumer Products Companies Directly Employed 1.7 Million Americans

GMA Press Contact

Roger Lowe

office: 202-295-3954

WASHINGTON, DC-  Food, beverage and consumer products companies directly employed more than 1.7 million workers in manufacturing and directly and indirectly contributed more than 6 percent of the U.S. GDP, according to new study commissioned by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (PwC). 

The study, titled “Economic Impact of the U.S. Grocery Manufacturing Industry,” is based on 2009 government data and examines food, beverage and consumer products companies’ impact on U.S. employment, labor income, gross domestic product, and the industry’s impact on related sectors of the nation’s economy.  Key findings include:

·         In 2009, grocery manufacturers (food, beverage and consumer and household products companies) directly provided more than 1.7 million American manufacturing jobs.  

·         In 2009, food and beverage companies alone directly provided more than 1.5 million jobs, which accounted for approximately 13 percent of all U.S. manufacturing jobs. This makes food and beverage manufacturing one of the largest employers in the manufacturing sector, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

·         Each job in the food and beverage industry supported an average of five jobs in other sectors of the economy, including agriculture, construction, other manufacturing, transportation, and finance.

·         In 2009, U.S. grocery manufacturers paid workers more than $94 billion in wages and benefits, and in total supported an additional $424 billion in wages and benefits in other sectors of the economy.  The food and beverage industry alone paid workers $78 billion in wages and benefits.

·         In 2009, U.S. grocery manufacturers directly contributed $173 billion to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and in total supported more than $900 billion in U.S. GDP.  The food and beverage sector alone contributed $128 billion directly to the gross domestic product and an additional $600 billion in indirect contributions.

·         In total, food and beverage manufacturers' economic activities directly and indirectly accounted for almost 5 percent of wages, salaries and benefits paid in the U.S. and more than 5 percent of U.S. GDP.

Combining the PwC results with Bureau of Labor Statistics data on retail and distribution jobs, the food industry helps employ more than 15 million Americans across the entire value chain, from farm to table.

-“America’s food, beverage and consumer product companies are a major part of the country’s economic engine,” said Pamela G. Bailey. “In more than 30,000 facilities across the country, our industry is part of the economic backbone of the U.S. economy and provides 300 million Americans and 6 billion people around the world with safe, healthy, convenient and affordable food and consumer products.”

The complete GMA-PwC report is available at or by clicking here


Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe. 

Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day.  The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders. 

In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.  The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year. For more information visit