- Research & Data
Assistant Commissioner, Business and Workforce Development
Tennessee’s strong agricultural economy accounts for 8.3 percent of the state’s economy while generating $56.8+ billion in output.
Generation after generation, Tennessee has brought you some of the best-known and most respected food brands in the world. From sippin’ whiskey to candy bars, Tennessee brands stand tall in the world of memorable tastes. Brands like Jack Daniel’s, M&M Mars, Bush Beans, Moon Pies and Little Debbie Snack Cakes grew out of Tennessee’s deeply held traditions of agriculture, hospitality and craftsmanship.
As you would expect in the state known for a couple of famous fellows named Jack and George (Daniel and Dickel, of course), the Tennessee beverage industry is especially robust. Tennessee’s $621 million in beverage exports ranked third in the nation in 2021 and first in the Southeast. The state’s $558 million whiskey exports last year doubled nearly every other state.
Today, Tyson Foods, Unilever, Pictsweet, Coca-Cola, Frito Lay and Green Mountain Coffee are among more than 1,600 registered food and beverage manufacturers operating in Tennessee. Unilever operates the world’s largest ice cream plant in Covington.
Tennessee’s central location makes transporting products a breeze. Our strong agriculture industry accounts for $3.5 billion in farm cash receipts. In 2021 alone, more than $1.2 billion in Tennessee food and agriculture exports found their way to major markets around the world. The five largest export markets consumed 42 percent of Tennessee’s food and beverage manufacturing exports in 2021.
Tennessee’s government actively supports growth in the food and agriculture sector, with approximately 50 announced projects since 2017, creating 6,100+ new jobs and $2.1+ billion in capital investment.
In Tennessee, we love our farms, and we know good food. Come get a taste of Tennessee for yourself. Your business will thank you for it.
Tennesseans employed by food & agriculture establishments
Food & agriculture establishments in Tennessee
Billion in Tennessee food and agriculture exports
Billion in new capital investment from recent food and agriculture projects
Increase in jobs from breweries, distilleries and wineries since 2010