I&M Study Finds Area’s Food & Beverage Industry Shows Promise for Growth

April 11, 2018
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Indiana Michigan Power’s service area is well-known for manufacturing, agriculture and affordable energy. A study by Austin Consulting, a leading site selector, found the area’s strengths offer growth opportunities for food and beverage industries in northern and east-central Indiana as well as southwest Michigan.
I&M sponsored the study as part of its emphasis on growing the economy and enhancing the quality of life for the communities and customers it serves.
The greatest opportunity, the study shows, is in these subsectors: Baking and snack food; dairy; meat and poultry; and beverage. The region offers numerous supply chain advantages with major suppliers of flour, oils, and potatoes as well as various types of packaging suppliers that support baking and snack food operations, the study found.
From 2006 to 2016, employment in food and beverage industries within the I&M region grew by 24 percent, three times the national average. Over the last 10 years, the area’s beverage industry has exploded with a 248 percent increase in employment, driven in large part by the growing interest in local craft beer, wine and distillery businesses. Gross regional product in the food and beverage industry grew 92 percent in the area over the decade compared to 77 percent nationally.
I&M’s economic and business development professionals will be partnering with interested communities on outreach to existing businesses to identify missing value chain components and growth opportunities.
“I&M believes strongly in supporting the communities and customers we serve, and we are pleased to commission this study that shows the robust potential for success in food and beverage industries in the area,” said Marc Lewis, I&M Vice President of Regulatory and External Affairs. “I&M looks forward to sharing this valuable information with our economic development and community partners, and we welcome the opportunity to work with them to help grow the food, beverage and agricultural processing industry as it suits their individual communities.”
For the full report, visit
and click on the link under “Food Processing.”
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Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its 2,450 employees serve more than 589,000 customers. More than half of its generation is emission-free, including 2,160 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan, 450 MW of purchased wind generation from Indiana, 22 MW of hydro generation in both states and approximately 15 MW of large-scale solar generation in both states. The company’s generation portfolio also includes 2,600 MW of coal-fueled generation in Indiana.
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s more than 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 33,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 4,200 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.