Richmond is at the intersection of the Food & Beverage industry and Biosciences

Most people wouldn’t associate the industry sectors of Food & Beverage and Biosciences, but in Richmond, Va., it’s a recipe (or formula!) that works.

Ever since Reynolds Wrap was pioneered here in 1947, food & beverage (and associated) companies have been flocking to Richmond. It’s now home to more than 50 food processing companies, including Sabra Dipping Company, the largest hummus manufacturing facility in the world.

The latest in this trend is the natural products market. These companies are taking crossing over from the kitchen to the laboratory:

  • Located at the Virginia Bio+Tech Park, RVA Yeast Labs is working to develop traditional and unique species and strains of brewing microbes. The company also captures and spreads wild yeasts, all of which they supply to brewers in the region.
  • We’re seeing exciting food science innovations, including by Nutriati which raised $8 million for further development of a chickpea-based protein additive. The mild-tasting powder can be used to add protein to cooking dishes.
  • Start-up company Spira is developing nutritional drinks made of spirulina blue-green algae.

Experts estimate the worldwide non-GMO foods market to increase 16.2 percent between 2017 and 2021, and these organic food makers are riding the upswing:

  • Locally-based Health Warrior is one company that saw the benefits of natural superfoods and jumped at the chance to develop a chia-based product that could change activity habits.
  • San-J International manufactures gluten-free, non-GMO Tamari soy sauce and other premium Asian-inspired food products.
  • Sabra Dipping now offers an organic line of their popular hummus dips. The company operates a Center of Excellence research and development facility in Chesterfield County.
  • Seeking a natural hair care product during her battle with psoriasis, Nadira Chase developed Adiva Naturals Skin and Hair Care Products.
  • Richmond is also home to Tokie’s, the producers of gluten-free baking mixes which can be found in Whole Foods.