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Yogurt Summit Primes New York to Become The Yogurt State

If you’re a dairy farmer or yogurt manufacturer, then consider being in Albany, New York on August 15 for what is likely the state’s (or any for that matter) first yogurt summit. The state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, recognizes the booming business that could potentially grow New York’s economy more than it already has.

“The state will look at regulations and laws that could get in the way of farmers providing more milk and manufacturers making yogurt,” explained an AP News release.

“Chobani strongly supports Governor Cuomo in his charge to continue to grow the New York State economy and help industries who are making a difference in doing so like Greek yogurt,” Chobani, leading Greek yogurt brand in the country, told us in an email.

The brand plans to be in attendance at the summit later this month, and says “We’re proud to be a part of the Greek yogurt boom in New York State and are committed to building the industry by supporting our farmers and local community and continually investing in our Chenango County production plant.”

Chobani holds a firm grasp on the number one spot, trailed by number two Fage. The two Greek yogurt leaders are expanding in to new plants within 60 miles of each other in what may become known as the yogurt state – New York. By the time Chobani’s expansion in western New York is complete later this year, according to Huffington Post, the production will boast more than two million cases of Greek yogurt a week! Meanwhile, Fage’s expansion will allow them to triple production to 160,000 tons of yogurt each year.

Chobani says they’re looking forward to working with the governor “as the dairy aisle continues to expand.” And no doubt that’s happening right now.

Reported by the Huffington Post earlier this year, the Greek yogurt category is experiencing explosive growth, thanks in no small part to the boon of constant dietitian and health professional endorsements. Sales for the Greek variety alone, as reported in January this year, made up a full 25 percent of the total yogurt business.

Governor Cuomo’s involvement with the yogurt industry was certainly not spawned by Chobani’s opening of a yogurt bar in New York City recently, Chobani SoHo. He actually had New York State contribute $16 million to Chobani’s plant expansion, and was “personally involved in ironing out a local intra-community dispute that was holding up the Fage expansion,” according to the Huffington Post story.

So everyone grab a spoon and line up to be a part of New York’s new yogurt vision, either as a hungry business person or an even hungrier consumer. With this much effort, visiting “yogurt country” may liken itself to tourism in wine country or the breweries of Colorado.

Other yogurt brands were contacted for comment but did not respond.

August 3rd, 2012

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