Food Processing

While Mississippi’s food processing industry is mostly known for poultry and catfish, it is more diversified than that. Mississippi is the largest catfish-producing state in the country and is home to the publicly traded poultry producer, Sanderson Farms. Mars Food US, the maker of Uncle Ben’s products, processes more than 156,000 tons of rice annually from its Greenville facility, while Newly Weds® Foods produces breading, seasonings and sauces in Horn Lake. Pepsi South also recently built a $49 million bottling and distribution facility in Hattiesburg.

Mississippi still has deep agricultural roots. Large-scale crops produced in the state include rice, sweet potatoes and soybeans, while farmers also grow watermelons, pecans and blueberries. Seafood from the Mississippi Gulf Coast is another important industry, particularly to coastal counties.

Mississippi takes great care to ensure the food processing industry’s needs are met. Mississippi State University in Starkville is a premier institution for food research and development. It is home to the Food Science Institute as well as the Food and Fiber Center, which provide research on food and food processing, packaging and safety.

Read more about how Mississippi’s research universities support state businesses here.