Taste NY, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 5-year-old marketing initiative promoting the state’s food and beverage producers and their products, grossed $16.1 million in revenue in 2017, topping the previous year’s sales by $3 million, the governor announced on Monday.
Created in 2013 and administered by the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, the program has grown from sales of $1.5 million in 2014 and $4.5 million in 2015, and $13.1 million in 2016. Cuomo’s office said the market exposure from Taste NY stores, cafés, bars, concessions and events has helped participating farms and companies reach more customers, increase online sales, and, in many cases, expand the processing capacity of their business.
“Taste NY has put local products on the map, boosting tourism, helping local craft breweries, wineries, distilleries and cideries grow, and increasing opportunities for producers in every corner of this great state,” Cuomo said in the announcement. “By connecting consumers across the globe with fresh, locally grown products, Taste NY continues to support the growth of farms and small businesses across New York.”
Taste NY in 2017 added 13 locations where New York-grown and New York-sourced products are sold, including new concessions for visitors to an additional six state parks.
This year, the Department of Agriculture and Markets is expected to identify 10 core food and beverage categories that will be highlighted in New York’s regional Welcome Centers to further strengthen Taste NY branding and tell the stories behind New York’s businesses, according to the governor’s office. The department will also coordinate with other state agencies on possible new Taste NY locations as infrastructure projects are developed across the state, including the reconstruction of train stations and airports.
Ag and Markets officials also will host five regional Business-to-Business Taste NY Networking events to connect state’s farms, food and beverage businesses with buyers from institutions, retail locations, restaurants, bars and distributors.
The Taste NY website at tasteny.gov will also be transformed to operate as a one-stop resource for residents, visitors, and businesses, state officials said. The website’s presentation, functionality and resources will be improved to provide better information on agritourism destinations and to better connect New York producers to new markets.
In this region, Taste NY operates the Taste NY Market at Todd Hill Road on the Taconic State Parkway in Dutchess County. In its third year of operation in 2017, the store at the Todd Hill Rest Area surpassed $1 million in sales for the second consecutive year, according to Ag and Markets officials in the program’s annual impact report.
Taste NY has three locations in Rockland County, at Bear Mountain State Park and Ramapo Travel Plaza and the Sloatsburg Service Area on the Thruway.