With Chobani's massive new facility in Twin Falls, Ida., now in production, the need for westward distribution of yogurt produced in New York State likely will ease in 2013. Nonetheless, the popularity of Greek yogurt and, in particular, the New Berlin, NY-based Chobani brand, helped vault the Empire State into the No. 1 position in yogurt production in 2012, according to a report in the April 18 edition of the New York Times.
New York yogurt production topped 692 million lbs. last year, up 25 percent from the prior year and 88 percent over 2010. Previously, California was the top producing state, but production fell 6.4 percent in 2012 to 587 million lbs., allowing New York to claim bragging rights as the top yogurt producer.
Chobani's Idaho dairy should fill some orders previously satisfied by the company's New York plant, giving California an opportunity to reclaim its top position this year. However, with Muller Quaker Dairy, the joint venture between Pepsico and Theo Muller Group, slated to begin production later this year at a new $206 million, 350,000 sq. ft. facility in Batavia, N.Y., the state's cultural center may permanently shift North of Manhattan.