There is an increasing demand for Greek-style yogurt, which is high in protein and low in carbs and makes for a tangier, less sweet, creamier and healthier snack. With New York State’s Greek yogurt maker Chobani getting national air-time as a Team USA Olympic sponsor, it has the attention of New York State’s milk producers. They’d like to take advantage of consumers’ new taste for Greek yogurt, but the expense of producing milk is a conundrum that has been dubbed “The Chobani paradox” by The Wall Street Journal.
“There’s a lot of opportunity and we would like to see New York farmers take a first shot at it,” said Cathy Mural, Senior Associate Director of Public Policy, New York Farm Bureau.
In order to take advantage of the state’s developing yogurt industry, extra milk production is needed, which isn’t an easy or low-priced task for dairy farmers. The New York Farm Bureau estimates farmers would need to increase milk output by 15 percent just to keep up with consumer demand. More milk production means more cows, and feeding those cows. But the cost of corn feed on the open market has skyrocketed thanks to demand from the ethanol industry, combined with this year’s drought.