As Greek yogurt craze hits city, Cuomo hope to make NY world capital
The Greek yogurt craze is sweeping the country, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo is hoping to make New York the yogurt capital of the world.
Cuomo met with farmers and state officials at the first-ever yogurt summit to discuss his plan to cut regulations in order to make it easier for farmers to produce more dairy, allowing the state to capitalize on the surging popularity of the creamy snack.
"This is our time ... so let's seize the moment," Cuomo reportedly said, adding that this is an opportunity that happens only once in "30 or 40 years."
The popularity of Greek yogurt has skyrocketed over the past few years, with sales more than doubling to $1.6 billion since 2007 nationwide, according to Euromonitor International.
New York City has seen two yogurt shops open this summer: The Yogurt Culture Company, at Grand Central, and Chobani, in Soho, where amNewYork saw "30 Rock" star Jane Krakowski Wednesday with her baby.
Nicki Briggs, a spokeswoman for New York-based Chobani, which is the country's largest yogurt producer, called the store's popularity "overwhelming."
"It's a really exciting time for us, and with our headquarters in New York it's nice to actually have a presence in New York City," Briggs said. "We want to see where this grows."
Melissa Saphier, 21, of Soho, said the flavor and nutrition of Greek yogurt converted her.
"It's filling, it's easy [on the stomach], and portable. There's the nutrition and taste factor, so you get both," she said while sitting in Chobani. "I am very happy to see it and hope they open more."
(with Ariam Frezghi)