Spectra360 logo

What Is the Difference Between “Food Production” and Manufacturing?

June 30, 2022


Food production and manufacturing have been used to produce accessible and convenient food since time immemorial. Leading food factories in the U.S. include Tyson Foods, FritoLay and General Mills. According to recent research, the market for processed food is on track to hit $7.7 trillion by 2026.   

However, did you know that food production is not quite the same as food manufacturing? Read on to learn more.

What is food production?

Food production is the process that processes raw materials into food products for human consumption. It is the ‘first level’ manufacturing of foods like milk, nuts, honey, pulses, vegetables, chicken and eggs. A good example is the conversion of raw tomatoes into tomato paste and packaging it into containers or using it directly at home. 

Food production methods include pasteurization, fermentation, pickling, cooking (such as grilling, frying, steaming or boiling), emulsification, liquefaction, macerating, slicing, dicing and mincing. 

What is food manufacturing?

This is ‘second-level’ manufacturing, where products are created using ingredients made during the food production stage. For example, manufacturers can use vanilla extract to make ice cream or tomato paste to make spaghetti sauce. 

Main differences between food production and food manufacturing 

Technology required 

Food production can be done using basic tools like grinders, cutters and blenders. However, food manufacturing usually requires advanced technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence (A.I.), blockchain and digital twins. For instance, blockchain technology makes it easy for manufacturers to trace their products’ location and origin. It will also show what methods were used to tend the crop or raise livestock. This technology, therefore, comes in very handy during food contamination outbreaks.


The cost involved in food manufacturing is much higher compared to that of food production. Besides buying equipment, food manufacturers incur significant costs when patenting their ideas, conducting market research, creating packaging, marketing their products and dealing with lawsuits. 

Regulatory compliance 

Though both food producers and food manufacturers must comply with food safety regulations, the requirements are stricter for the latter. To guarantee food is safe for consumption, food manufacturers in the U.S. must follow the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). In addition, there are state regulations and federal rules to be met.  

As it is evident, there is a thin line between food production and food manufacturing. The good news is that if you have experience in one, you can apply for jobs in the other. Visit https://jobs.spectra360.com and apply for a job.

talk to sales

Interested in hiring? Just pick up the phone to chat with a member of our sales team. 866 736 0360


If you prefer, you can email us: sales@spectra360.com

Or, if you are looking for our jobs, click this link: 


Reach our customer support team



Share This