ALBANY – The popularity of Greek yogurt – driven by its reputation for good taste and health benefits – is growing across the United States.
“A western New York dairy cooperative will supply nearly 143,000 pounds of Greek yogurt for the latest round of a test program to get the product in school lunches. Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc., which manufactures Upstate Farms brand yogurt, received a $196,940 contract this week from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide its Greek yogurt to schools in Arizona, New York and Tennessee.The cooperative, which includes farms from the Buffalo and Rochester areas, will provide 4-ounce servings of strawberry, blueberry and vanilla yogurt. The contract runs through December,” the Poughkeepsie Journal reported.
“We’re trying to support the industry and support school districts throughout the country,” said Mark Serling, a spokesman for Upstate Niagara. “It’s really a pilot, so it’s a test to get Greek yogurt into the schools and to hopefully to see there’s acceptance by the school kids for this type of products.”
It’s the second time Upstate Farms products had been selected for the pilot. In June, the cooperative was selected for a one-month contract to provide Greek yogurt in Arizona.
New York’s Senator Charles Schumer and other lawmakers pushed to have it expanded to 12 states earlier this year.
“This is a major win for western New York, as well as the entire New York dairy industry,” Schumer said in a statement Friday.