Food Processing & Manufacturing

The Food Processing & Manufacturing industry cluster includes the manufacturing of foods for animal or human consumption. In addition to finished processed food and beverage products, this also includes protein processing and refining of agricultural products (grain, oil seeds), as well as the manufacturing of metal and glass containers for food and beverage distribution. 

2018 Employment
Location Quotient
2018 Payrolled Business Locations


Northern Colorado’s largest employers in this industry manufacture beef products, beer, and dairy products, including liquid milk, cheese, and yogurt. The region’s smaller companies and startups include a large number of malt beverage breweries in addition to distilleries, snack foods, and sauces. Food manufacturing with close relationships to regional agriculture is common with proteins and also with flour milling and seed oil processing in the region.

In adjacent counties, Boulder serves as a hub for natural and special-diet food manufacturing, which enhances the overall ecosystem for innovative food product development.


  • Animal Foods
  • Baked Goods
  • Candy and Chocolate
  • Coffee and Tea
  • Dairy Products
  • Distilleries
  • Farm Wholesalers
  • Glass Containers
  • Malt Beverages
  • Milling and Refining of Cereals and Oilseeds
  • Milling and Refining of Sugar
  • Packaged Fruit and Vegetables
  • Soft Drinks and Ice
  • Specialty Foods and Ingredients
  • Wineries
  • Meat Processing


  • The Food Processing & Manufacturing cluster experienced 19% growth in the region from 2013-2018. 9% growth is projected to occur from 2018-2023.
  • The Gross Regional Product reported in 2018 was $1,230,000.
  • There is a community of boutique food producers with regional or national market penetration in Erie, Fort Collins, Loveland, and Timnath.
Innovation and technology play a key part in what we're trying to do. We've invested heavily in innovative companies to really drive the future of soil health, plant health, and sustainable agriculture technologies. We work closely with CSU and their College of Agriculture to leverage a partnership on how we can affect greenhouse gas reduction, carbon sequestration, carbon credit generation, and monetization.
nutrien logo
Brent Smith
Nutrien Ag Solutions

Regional & Adjacent Major Employers

Download Growth Cluster Profile

For business matters related to locating or growing your business in Northern Colorado


Richard Werner

Upstate Colorado Economic Development


Adam Crowe

Larimer County Economic Development