New York produced more yogurt than any other state in 2013, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Tuesday.
Manufacturers such as Chobani and Fage made 741 million pounds of yogurt in upstate factories last year, up from 695 million in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Much of the production was centered on Greek-style yogurt.
It was New York's second year in a row as the top yogurt-producing state. California was No. 2 with 591 million pounds.
New York accounted for 15.7 percent of U.S. yogurt production, which totaled 4.7 billion pounds, according to federal statistics.
"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," Cuomo said.
Earlier this month, Agrana Fruit US opened a $50 million factory outside Syracuse to supply yogurt makers throughout the Northeast and Canada. The plant, where 120 people will eventually work, was aided by $2.6 million in tax breaks and grant money from the state. Agrana is based in Austria.
New York is also producing more milk. It passed Idaho last year to become the No. 3 producer.
There is a drive in the State Legislature to declare yogurt as New York's official snack.
A bill, sponsored by Sen. Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R-Williamsville), passed the State Senate, 52 to 8, after a 44-minute debate earlier this month. Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) was among those voting "nay."
The bill has yet to be taken up by the Assembly, where it is sponsored by Assemb. William Magee (D-Cazenovia). A memo outlining the legislation states that "both from a health standpoint and economic standpoint, yogurt is particularly suitable as the state snack."
Other states and their official snacks include Utah, Jell- O; Illinois, popcorn; and Texas, chips and salsa.