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About CFBN


To leverage the power of the food & beverage industry in Chicagoland to grow the industry and the local economy. We bring industry players together, provide a forum for collaboration and support, and better connect the 4,500 companies in the industry across Chicagoland to drive innovation and growth in the region. We’re like an Industry Association, but with a higher purpose to address big issues like employment, economic development, entrepreneurship, and neighborhood revitalization.


The magic of CFBN happens when diverse food industry professionals collaborate in one room. Our membership represents the city and suburbs, large international manufacturers, mid-sized regional brands, small startups, ingredient companies, agricultural inputs and food- adjacent companies including banking and finance firms, law offices, marketing companies, and consultants.


The size and breadth of the food & beverage industry in Chicagoland make it a critical piece of a growing and vital local economy.


The food and beverage industry is a large and important part of Chicagoland’s regional economy -- approximately 4,500 food and beverage companies call the region home, accounting for 130,000 employees and $32 billion in annual sales.

The Chicagoland area, one of the world’s top global cities and a hub for trade, leads the nation in packaged food and beverage sales, but also boasts a vibrant local food movement and a large number of entrepreneurial start-ups. Chicagoland’s Food and Beverage industry cluster is the second largest in the nation. Chicagoland is also at the forefront of developing technologies and business models to address new consumer expectations and evolving regulatory standards around the food and beverage industry. The region continues to be at the center of the food and beverage industry based on the deep knowledge in the region, skilled workforce, excellent transportation, outstanding academic institutions, plentiful resources, and proximity to agriculture.

RW Ventures and the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) released a comprehensive analysis of the Chicagoland food cluster, Chicagoland FOOD - Seizing the Opportunity to Grow Chicagoland’s Food Industry. The report details the Chicagoland food cluster and its recent performance, highlights transformative trends in the local and national food industry, and lays the groundwork for a regional food cluster organization that will lead collaborative cluster efforts to support and grow local companies.

What Members Say

“Chicago’s reputation as a leader in the global food and beverage innovation and manufacturing sector is the result of many varied dedicated professionals who recognize what the Windy City has to offer. Until the Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network was formed, there was no organization where we could all come together to learn, share and strengthen Chicagoland’s ability to nourish and feed the world.”

-Joel Warady 


Catalina Crunch

“As a degreed food scientist and industry communicator, and a life-long resident of the city, I appreciate all of the contacts I have made by attending CFBN events that I never would have met elsewhere. This includes marketers, lawyers, financers, analysts, academia, designers, and more. The entrepreneurs who share their stories do so to help others succeed. Together we make Chicago shine!”

-Donna Berry 

Food Scientist,

Editor and Consultant

"CFBN has been an amazing partner! The team puts on incredibly valuable events that benefit companies both small and large. The network is designed to foster the food and beverage industry in Chicago, and the group lives up to this goal. The connections run both wide and deep, and I cannot recommend CFBN more highly for anyone interested in bettering the Chicagoland Food and Beverage Community."



“We are so appreciative for all the work and help that the whole CFBN team put in to make this a great event. The turnout was amazing and everything went so well. The cross-section of the different elements of the City's food community made for a perfect introduction of Amped Chicago. We definitely could not have pulled off such a well organized and fun event without everything CFBN contributed.”

-Mott Smith


Amped Kitchens

“I don’t join many organizations but have found my membership to CFBN to be truly valuable. CFBN has been a great resource keeping me up-to-date on important industry news and trends and I have made important industry connections at their events.”

-Michelle McBride 



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