Location Scouts

We’d like to thank some of our readers for suggestions to follow up on a few particular areas.

A location scout, in movie lingo, is a person who looks for suitable locations for filming. For this special issue, Where To Grow, we became location scouts of a different sort. Instead of seeking movie settings, we scanned the entire country to find 10 locations that could be advantageous to food companies that are looking to expand or consolidate their operations.

We wanted to highlight some of the well--known regions as well as find new—and perhaps surprising--locations where local economic agencies are offering food companies excellent opportunities to locate in their areas. So while we covered regions that have great geographic reach, such as Topeka, KS, or Fresno, CA, we’ve also written about places that are off the beaten track, like Wyoming and North Dakota. These states are not as remote as you might think and they are offering a variety of incentives to entice food companies into their areas.

Perhaps you’re looking for a new place to expand your operations to or consolidate your network, or establish a presence in a new market. Whatever the case, site selection is a painstaking process that takes months, if not years. Before you start the selection process, industry experts recommend that you take into account:

  • Land costs;
  • Location--proximity to customers and accessibility to raw materials are important factors;
  • Price of reaching customers from a particular market;
  • Transportation infrastructure;
  • Local business climate:
  • Availability of skilled labor;
  • Utility services;
  • Access to third--party logistics providers;
  • Weather
  • We’d like to thank some of our readers for suggestions to follow up on a few particular areas. We are also grateful to the folks throughout the country working at Development Counselors International (www.dci--intl.com) for their help in identifying not only the prominent spots—but the hidden locations offering exciting opportunities to food companies. DCI , based in New York, works with cities, regions, states and other countries to help them market their areas.

    Granted, finding a site to locate a warehouse or distribution center on may not be as exciting as scouting for a movie setting, but it is just as important. We hope you find this supplement helpful as you pursue new markets and new regions in which to locate and, as always, we appreciate your comments.