For Second Year in a Row, New York Claims Title of Yogurt Capital of the U.S.
Albany, NY (May 27, 2014)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that, for the second year in a row, New York is the yogurt capital of the nation. Preliminary data indicates that in 2013, New York produced 741 million pounds of yogurt, up from 695 million pounds in 2012. As confirmed by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York was the top ranked yogurt producer in 2013, a position it ascended to in 2012. New York once again exceeded California, which produced 591 million pounds of yogurt in 2013. For the entire country, USDA-NASS reported total yogurt production of 4,718 million pounds for 2013, up from 4,416 million pounds in 2012. New York accounted for 15.7% of total US yogurt production in 2013.
“For the second year in a row, New York State has earned the distinction of being the yogurt capital of the nation. This is another example of how when government and the private sector work together, as we have done with New York’s dairy industry to eliminate barriers to growth, the result is positive economic activity that translates into jobs and new opportunities for New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York’s dairy farmers and yogurt producers are the cream of the crop in their industry, and I congratulate them on once again securing this well-deserved honor.”
This announcement comes on the heels of news from earlier this year that New York passed Idaho as the third highest producer of milk in the nation for 2013. Also announced two weeks ago, Agrana Fruit, the top producer of fruit preparations for the dairy industry, completed construction of their new manufacturing and distribution operation in Onondaga County. Already creating 60 new jobs to date, when fully operational, the company will employ approximately 120 people at the $50 million facility, which will process all types of fruit for yogurt, including the possibility of New York-grown fruit.
As the company sought to expand its market presence and meet customer demand in North America, it considered more than 50 Northeast locations, and ultimately chose New York. The flourishing yogurt industry was a key factor in Agrana’s decision, offering the company a central location for production and distribution to leading yogurt companies in New York as well as the Northeast and Canada.
The industry is also helping to spur growth in other sectors of the state, as evidenced by the recent expansion of Feldmeier Equipment in Herkimer County. As a manufacturer of stainless steel storage and processing equipment, Feldmeier’s expansion supplies even more equipment for yogurt companies including Chobani and FAGE.
In 2013, New York’s dairy manufacturers employed an estimated 9,470 people with total wages of $513 million, up from 7,759 jobs and $400 million in wages in 2010. According to USDA-NASS, cash receipts from marketing of milk in New York increased from $2.21 billion in 2010 to $2.85 billion in 2013.
New York is a diverse state in the area of dairy and is also the leading producer of cream cheese and cottage cheese in the country. In addition to a 6.5 percent increase in yogurt production, two large dairy plants will be coming on-line this year: Cayuga Milk Ingredients (Cayuga County), which will manufacture dairy ingredients, and WNY Enterprises (Livingston County), which will use a cold-separation process to make skim and cream components.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Governor Cuomo’s commitment to the yogurt industry here in New York has helped our dairy farmers to ramp up their own production, making us the number 3 producer of milk in the nation. The fact that New York is now repeating as the yogurt capital of the U.S. is a testament to the fact that the Governor’s strategy of an entrepreneurial government is indeed working.”
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, “Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s leadership promoting the expansion of the yogurt industry and encouraging continued economic development statewide, our yogurt manufacturers are thriving. Agriculture is one of New York's most important economic engines, creating new jobs and fueling economic growth throughout the State.”
New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton said, “New York holding on to the title of top yogurt producer is wonderful news for the state’s dairy industry. The surge in production signifies consumers are increasingly choosing the quality products made statewide. New York Farm Bureau salutes the state’s dairy producers and yogurt makers for a job well done, and we look forward to continuing to work with Governor Cuomo to ensure the agricultural economy prospers even more in 2014."