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New LVEDC Video Spotlights Lehigh Valley’s Food and Beverage Sector

By Colin McEvoy on June 28, 2016

Many factors led to food and beverage processing being named one of the Lehigh Valley’s four target sectors, including the region’s strong workforce, well-developed transportation infrastructure, high quality water supply, and excellent educational institutions.

All of these factors and more are on display in a new video released by the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC), the latest in a series of videos focused on the region’s four target sectors, entrepreneurial community, and redevelopment projects.

Produced by the Emmy Award-winning FireRock Productions, this is the third in a series of six planned videos to be released by LVEDC so far. Past videos focused on the region’s high performance manufacturing sector and life science research and manufacturing industry.

Here is the direct link to the food and beverage processing video on YouTube, which LVEDC encourages viewers to share and embed on their own websites or social media accounts.

“This video is a good illustration of why the Lehigh Valley has become a mecca for the food and beverage processing sector,” said Don Cunningham, LVEDC President and CEO. “There’s a reason Lehigh County is the top county in Pennsylvania for beverage manufacturing companies. Corporate decisions in food and beverage production and distribution are studied and cost-compared down to the pennies, and the Lehigh Valley comes out a winner.”

The video includes interviews with representatives of such major companies in the region as Ocean Spray Cranberries, Just Born Quality Confections, and the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of the Lehigh Valley, as well as local brewers like the Weyerbacher Brewing Company, Colony Meadery, and HiJinx Brewing Company.

Among those interviewed are Matthew Pye, Vice President of Trade Relations and Corporate Affairs at Just Born, who said it is easy to do business in the Lehigh Valley thanks to cooperation from state and local elected officials.

He also praised the region’s transportation infrastructure. The Lehigh Valley is located 90 miles from New York City and 60 miles from Philadelphia, and those markets are easily accessible via the nearby Interstate 78.

“The fact that we’re here in the Lehigh Valley, so close to the port of Newark, New Jersey, makes it really easy to get the product over there in a timely fashion,” Pye said.

Others, like Chris Lampe, General Manager at the Weyerbacher Brewing Company, noted the strong pool of talent in the Lehigh Valley, supported by such higher education institutes in the region as Lehigh University, Lafayette College, Moravian CollegeLehigh Carbon Community College, and others.

“There have been enough manufacturing in the area where people understand how to work hard in a manufacturing environment,” Lampe said.

Joe Brake, Vice President and General Manager of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of the Lehigh Valley, praised the Lehigh Valley’s high-quality water supply. The region has a water capacity of 136 million gallons per day, and the water is very low in mineral content, which saves companies in treatment costs.

“When you talk about the quality of the water here, it’s amazing,” Brake said, “and when that’s 99 percent of what you’re producing that’s saying a whole lot.”

Michael Keller, LVEDC Director of Marketing, said this series of videos continues a strong push LVEDC has made in the use of online video to market the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley. Video was also utilized in a sub-regional marketing campaign LVEDC recently unveiled.

“Internet users in general, including our target audience and industry prospects, are consuming more video than ever, especially as Internet speeds grow faster. We’ve also noticed that a growing number of people are opting to watch video online rather than read a lengthy article.” Keller said. “Now is the perfect time to spread the word about Lehigh Valley’s assets in a fun and entertaining way.”

Online video traffic is predicted to make up to 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index. That amount is up from 64 percent in 2014, meaning a rise of 16 percent in just five years.

Subscribe to the LVEDC YouTube channel to see the other videos in the series as they are released, and visit lehighvalley.org/foodandvbev for more information about the region’s economic assets in the sector.

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