Greek-style yogurt named official state snack of New York

Yogurt became New York's official state snack on Wednesday, joining the likes of popcorn and salty boiled peanuts among popular foods honored by US states, amid the booming popularity of strained Greek-style yogurt. -- PHOOTO: ST FILE
Yogurt became New York's official state snack on Wednesday, joining the likes of popcorn and salty boiled peanuts among popular foods honored by US states, amid the booming popularity of strained Greek-style yogurt. -- PHOOTO: ST FILE

New York (Reuters) - Yogurt became New York's official state snack on Wednesday, joining the likes of popcorn and salty boiled peanuts among popular foods honored by US states.

New York has become the nation's top yogurt producer, amid the booming popularity of strained Greek-style yogurt, the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

He signed a bill making it the official state snack. "Designating yogurt as the official state snack will continue to raise public awareness of the economic and health benefits of yogurt and the dairy industry," the governor's office said.

Only a handful of states have official snacks. South Carolina has boiled peanuts, Texas has tortilla chips and salsa, Illinois has popcorn and Utah has Jell-O.

New York state produced 336 million kg of yogurt last year, accounting for 16 per cent of total US production, the governor's statement said.

Two leading brands of the thick Greek-style yogurt, Chobani and Fage, have large production plants in New York.

Dairy manufacturers in the state employed about 9,500 people with total wages of US$513 million (S$652 million) in 2013, up from about 8,000 jobs and US$401 million in wages in 2010.