Industry Evaluations of the Status and Prospects for the Burgeoning New York Greek-Style Yogurt industry
Boynton, Robert D.; Novakovic, Andrew M.
The production of Greek yogurt has nearly quadrupled from 2008 to 2013 in New York. In the last decade, Greek yogurt has gone from being a relatively obscure product imported from Greece to New York City to an exciting new product that is transforming the retail dairy case, spinning off a host of new products, and capturing the imaginations of consumers around the country. The paper is the first of two that will look at the phenomenon of the Greek yogurt boom. In this paper, the focus is on what we know about this relatively new industry and how we can explain and understand its relationship to the New York dairy sector in particular. The study looks at publicly available data but also relies on interviews of yogurt manufacturers and milk suppliers operating in New York. Long a significant player in the yogurt category, New York rapidly moved to become the dominant player in the Greek yogurt segment and is now the leading manufacturer of yogurt in the U.S. The large farm milk production sector in New York is an important factor in the development of this product segment, but the proximity of this large production area relative to the demographically large, rich and diverse populations centers of the northern Atlantic coast is even more important. The new Greek yogurt category has strong appeal and should be a durable feature in U.S. dairy markets, but this is not without challenges to maintaining and strengthening New York's role in this burgeoning sector.
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University