About

History

Founded almost twenty years ago, we like to say that the Made in Oklahoma Coalition was local before local had a name. What is now one of the most successful public private partnerships in the history of the state started out small with only seven companies sitting around a table discussing ways to build brand loyalty for made in Oklahoma products. The MIO Coalition was established on the premise that building brand loyalty for Oklahoma made food products could be attained by pooling together resources to generate consumer awareness through collective marketing campaigns. MIO Coalition members match public funds with private dollars to support sales in retail grocery stores, local and national restaurant chains, and other non-traditional outlets.

MIO Coalition membership is exclusive to Oklahoma food producers and processors. MIO members have multiple opportunities to participate in a variety of cost share activities, and most of all, they benefit from the synergy that comes from working together as a team with a common goal.

Every dollar that you spend on Made in Oklahoma products creates a positive impact in the lives of Oklahomans by boosting the state’s economy and increasing the number of local jobs available throughout the state. The MIO Coalition has grown significantly over the past 19 years and now boasts over 70 local food companies, which generate over $3.4 billion dollars annually and employ over 58,000 Oklahoman’s. Over the past two decades the MIO Coalition has become the cornerstone for what it means to be local in Oklahoma and we will continue to lead the charge by keeping folks informed of all the ways they can support local food companies and restaurants.

Remember, local has a name and that name is the Made in Oklahoma Coalition.

Letter from the President

Twenty years ago, seven Oklahoma food companies formed the MADE IN OKLAHOMA COALITION. From that humble beginning to an organization with over seventy member companies that employ over 58,000 employees and generate $4.2 billion in annual sales, the MIO continues to educate fellow Oklahomans on what food products are produced in the Sooner state. Using mass marketing vehicles such as billboards, bus wraps, and broadcast and print media, our goal is to emphasize ‘local.’ And local has an impact. Eighty five percent of MIO coalition company sales are outside the Sooner state. That means those monies come back into our state and improve our local economy. Buying local is an investment in the future of Oklahoma.

And local has a story. Each of our member companies has a unique story. Whether it was starting small in their kitchen or buying and expanding an existing facility, each MIO member’s story is different, but we all share one common trait- we are local.

This year will be our 5th year of the Made in Oklahoma Expo, a showcase for food products made in the state. The Expo is well attended by all our stakeholders and well supported by our member companies.

On our twentieth anniversary, we would be remiss if we didn’t recognize three individuals whose vision and leadership was instrumental in the founding of the MIO Coalition. John Williams and Dave Heinikie served as the first Co-Chairmen of the MIO. They along with Barbara Charlet’, a Marketing Specialist with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, were the reason MIO got off the ground. As my late friend Vidal Sassoon used to say, “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Their hard work in those early years laid a foundation we continue to build on.

The coalition leadership appreciates the continued support of the member companies, the state legislature, Governor Stitt, Lt. Governor Pinnell, retailers, distributors, and restaurants; we would not be moving into our third decade as an organization.

I count serving as MIO president a great honor and privilege. I appreciate our member companies and the other MIO board members, who sacrifice so much of their time to work toward a common cause of promoting ‘local’ products.

Buy Local!

Sincerely,

George Lemmon
MIO President
Business Manager
Clements Foods Company