Food and Beverage Manufacturing

Surprisingly Low Costs – Surprisingly Great Business Climate!

food and beverage mapMany Midwest locations offer food and beverage manufacturers access to agricultural commodities and markets. Ottumwa, IA combines those vital features with low labor costs at all skill levels, excellent access to rail and other transportation assets, a well-educated workforce with an outstanding work ethic, and a livable, low-cost community your employees will love. Add our excellent incentives and friendly regulatory climate, and you’ll know why some of the most successful food and beverage manufacturers have discovered the Ottumwa, IA advantage.

The Ottumwa, IA Region is Home to these Food and Beverage Manufacturing Leaders:

major employers

Access to Markets

Ottumwa, IA companies can reach nearly 75 million people within an 8-hour drive – 23% of the US population. We’re close to all of the major metro areas in the upper Midwest:

  • Chicago, IL
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Louisville, KY

indian hills collegeThe Talent Food and Beverage Manufacturers Need

The Ottumwa, IA region has higher 2-year degree educational attainment than the US average and most of the surrounding states.

Indian Hills Community College: With an enrollment of over 4,300, the Ottumwa, IA campus of Indian Hills Community College offers two-year degrees, including sustainable agriculture, commercial driver training, and robotics/automation. The college regularly collaborates with local industry to ensure training needs are being met.

Four-year Degree Talent Pipeline

The following universities in the region can supply Ottumwa, IA companies with talent for their business, agribusiness and science-related positions.


Drake University (Des Moines, IA): 5,200 student enrollment, over 3,100 undergraduates and 2,000 postgraduates

university of iowa

University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA): 33,000 student enrollment, over 24,000 undergraduates and almost 9,000 postgraduates

iowa state

Iowa State University (Ames, IA): 36,000 student enrollment, over 30,000 undergraduates and 5,000 postgraduates

A Better Business Climate

Both the State of Iowa and the Ottumwa, IA region are known for their business-friendly regulatory climate, with Forbes ranking Iowa among the top ten regulatory environments in the nation.

And both Iowa and Ottumwa, IA offer a wide variety of business incentives, including programs aimed at manufacturing, bioscience, and value-added agriculture. Grants, loans, tax credits, tax abatement, and tax incremental financing districts are all available.

Your Employees Will Love Ottumwa

Overall Cost of Living 22% below national average

Cost of Housing 73% below national average

Plenty to Do

  • The Bridge View Center on the banks of the Des Moines River is a premier destination in southeast Iowa for concerts, theatrical events and conventions.
  • The Beach Ottumwa, IA is a four season public water park featuring a wave pool, indoor and outdoor pools and slides, sand volleyball courts, aquatics classes, racing pools and a children’s play area.
  • Plus 690 acres of greens space, 19 miles of poured trailway, nature center, trout fishing and more.
  • Great cultural opportunities in Des Moines, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and Ames are all nearby.

Ottumwa is the best place for Food & Beverage Manufacturers to take advantage of everything Iowa has to offer.

36 of the largest 100 food manufacturers have operations in the state, including: Hormel Foods, Kraft, Nestle, Rembrandt Foods, Tyson, Barilla, General Mills, Heinz, Quaker Oats and Wells Enterprises.

5 Major Grocery Chains have distribution centers within 325 miles of Ottumwa, IA, including Hy-Vee, Walmart, Target, Roundy’s and Fareway

#1 Producer of Eggs, Corn and Pork (USDA, 2017)

#5 Highest Concentration of Food Scientists in the U.S. (BLS, 2015)

#1 Best State (U.S. News & World Report)

#1 Public High School Graduation Rate (U.S. Department of Education, 2016)

#5 STEM Degrees Conferred per 1,000 Residents (Iowa State University, CIRAS 2015)

60% of Iowans have Completed Education of Training Beyond High School (Iowa College Aid, 2014)

#2 CEOS Rank Iowa’s Worker Quality (Chief Executive, 2017)

#8 Highest per Capita Academic Bioscience R&D Investment (BIO, 2016)

#3 Best-Run State (24/7 Wall Street, 2016)

#12 Best State for Business (Forbes)

#6 Business Costs (Forbes)

#10 Regulatory Environment (Forbes)

#10 Quality of Life (Forbes)

Click Here to Download PDF Sell Sheet

Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation 217 East Main Street Ottumwa, Iowa  52501
Phone 641-682-3465 Fax 641-682-3466