As the holidays approach and food becomes an important part of our celebrations, you could use items made in North Carolina for your meal preparation.
Food production is an important part of North Carolina’s economy. In North Carolina, food manufacturing contributed 5% to the Gross State Product in 2021. In 2023, it is the second-highest number of establishments and the largest manufacturing sector by employment. North Carolina is home to the 4th largest food and beverage industry in the United States with over 1,000 food and beverage manufacturing operations across the state. (Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, “Food Processing and Manufacturing, 2023).
A few suggestions:

  • While the meal is cooking, stave off hunger with snacks such as popcorn, pretzels, crackers and potato chips made by Snyder’s-Lance, headquartered in Charlotte
  • What green bean casserole would be complete without a can of Campbell’s soup? (Maxton)
  • Don’t forget your veggies! NC ranks #1 in the nation in the production of sweet potatoes, with the highest production coming from Wilson and Johnston counties. If you prefer canned to fresh, you can find Bruce’s Yams in most grocery stores (Wilson)
  • Many turkeys are raised and processed in NC: you can buy a heritage black turkey from Joyce Farms (Winston-Salem, NC), Prestage Foods (St. Pauls, NC) and turkey behemoth Butterball, headquartered in Garner, NC; its Mt. Olive processing plant is the largest turkey processing plant in the world!
  • Craving ham instead of turkey? There are many sources in NC: Smithfield Foods, Johnston County Hams, and Goodnight Brothers Country Ham, to name a few
  • Sara Lee has you covered with a pound cake or cheesecake for dessert. If you crave a fancier cheesecake, The Cheesecake Factory produces its sweet treats in NC as well (both in Rocky Mount)
  • Oh, and if you are looking for a hostess gift, you can’t go wrong with a fruitcake! wonderful ones are made by Southern Supreme (Bear Creek)


Happy Holidays!