With a strong global reputation for lobster and seafood, blueberries, and potatoes, Maine is also home to a vibrant and growing specialty food and beverage sector producing numerous products including craft beers, salsas, frozen baked goods, jams, sauces, and more.

Food Basket of the Northeast

There are many reasons why Maine is often called “the food basket of the Northeast”…


  • Supplies 90% of wild-caught lobster in the U.S. with 119 million pounds in 2018 (53,977 metric tons) worth approximately $484 million.
  • Over $100 million of farm-raised Atlantic salmon, oysters and mussels
  • Grows 99% of wild blueberries in the U.S.; 99% is frozen
  • Ranks 10th in potato production in the U.S.

Select Food & Beverage Companies in Maine

Bon Appetit’s 2018 Restaurant City of the Year:  Portland, Maine

Portland Maine's Old PortIIM_Food_Quote.png

In August 2018, Bon Appetit magazine published an article on its website naming Portland its “2018 Restaurant City of the Year.”  In May 2019, an article by Devra First, the Boston Globe’s restaurant critic and food reporter, suggested ‘not to waste a single meal’ while in the state’s largest city.  According to the City Clerk’s office, Portland has over 500 food establishments and  with 18 breweries, it is on top in the number of breweries per 50,000 population by C+R Research.

Opportunities in Maine

Wild Blueberries
Maine produces between 70 and 100 million pounds (31 – 45 mt) each year, making it the largest producer of wild blueberries in the world. Wild blueberries are smaller but contain twice the antioxidants and eight times the manganese of the bigger varieties.

Maine Lobster
Maine lobster is sustainably harvested and breeds naturally in the cold waters of the Gulf of Maine in the North Atlantic. The state is the U.S.’s leading supplier, typically 80% of of the nation’s catch,  with 110.8 million pounds (50.3 million kilograms) in 2017.

Other key subsectors – broadly defined as those offering high capacity yield, strong growth potential, specialization, and processing plant opportunities – include:

  • Potatoes, frozen fruit, and vegetable-based products
  • Beverages including bottled water, as well as specialty alcohol and beer produced by local distilleries and breweries
  • Functional foods/nutraceuticals
  • Frozen specialty foods and baked goods