In the food industry, the Kuopio region is known especially for its milk production and agriculture, strawberries, and freshwater fish and fish products. Food production based on solid expertise and traceability, combined with innovative product development and strong collaboration networks, makes the region particularly attractive for food industry investors. As a region of gastronomy and a food tourism destination, Pohjois-Savo has become known worldwide especially due to the European Region of Gastronomy Award given to the region in 2020–2021.
The clinical nutrition research groups at the University of Eastern Finland are highly sought-after partners in research products aiming to understand the effects of food on health and wellbeing. Other major areas of expertise in food and nutritional science in the Kuopio region are nutrition, health and wellbeing, food safety and metabolomics. Several promising startups have also sprung up around these themes, such as Afekta Technologies, Ravistamo and Probitat.
The networking, collaboration, visibility and product development efforts of regional actors in the food industry are supported by Agri-Food Cluster North Savo and the Food Valley network.