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Taste NY logo courtesy of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets
Taste NY logo courtesy of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets

Taste NY program wraps up yearlong 10th anniversary celebration


Mon, Jan 8th 2024 02:50 pm

Celebration highlights milestones reached in 2023 to support state’s agriculture industry

√ Taste NY markets welcomed over 2.3 million visitors across New York, with reported sales of more than $5 million of local products in 2023

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball on Monday highlighted milestones the Taste NY program reached during its 10th anniversary year, 2023, as the state celebrated with a series of events and special promotions.

A press release stated, “Taste NY welcome centers and several other market locations welcomed over 2.3 million visitors through their doors and reported net sales of over $5 million in 2023. Since its launch in 2013, the Taste NY program has grown significantly, bringing over $100 million in economic impact to New York state agricultural producers across the state during its 10 years.”

Ball said, “We traveled far and wide across the Empire State in 2023 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Taste NY program and it was certainly a memorable year. Taste NY’s goal is to promote our state’s farmers and food and beverage producers. It’s wonderful to see that come to fruition through over $5 million in sales at our welcome centers and markets last year – and counting – in addition to over 2 million visitors who were introduced to the best of New York state by shopping local at Taste NY. I thank all the market staff members, partners, and, of course, our producers, who have participated in the program and helped us to celebrate Taste Turns 10. We look forward to another decade of supporting New York’s small agricultural businesses through Taste NY.”

In 2023, the state’s 11 welcome centers and Taste NY market locations, including Todd Hill, Front Street, Auburn and Puerto Rico, welcomed over 2.3 million visitors through their doors, showcasing the reach the program gives to its small business participants. These Taste NY locations additionally reported net sales of New York state products totaling over $5.1 million for the year. That number is projected to grow with several locations still calculating final numbers for November and December. Additionally, several welcome centers celebrated their own milestones in 2023, with the Adirondacks Welcome Center reaching 1 million visitors since its opening in 2018 and the Central New York Welcome Center hitting the 1.5 million mark since its 2017 opening.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Taste NY, Ball held nine open house events at welcome centers and Taste NY market locations, traveling nearly 3,000 miles across the state – greater than the driving distance from the New York State Museum to the California State Museum – “to highlight the program and the diverse farmers and food and beverage producers that are its backbone.”

At each of these events, which took place in the Finger Lakes, Long Island, the North Country, the Capital Region, the Southern Tier, the Mohawk Valley, the Olana State Historic Site, the Hudson Valley/Catskills, Western New York and Central New York, local producers were invited to sell and sample their products for guests and members of the media. A total of 71 different businesses attended the “Taste Turns 10” events over the course of the year, introducing local products from vegetables, cheese and juice to maple syrup, salt, soap, pretzels, marshmallows, jam, chocolates and more to hundreds of guests and visitors. A full list of vendors who took part in the celebrations is available at agriculture.ny.gov/tasteturns10vendors. Photos from the events and other Taste NY activities throughout the year are available online at agriculture.ny.gov/tasteturns10photos.

Additionally, the department created several videos highlighting the program’s anniversary, located on its YouTube channel here and here.

Several welcome centers additionally hit sales milestones of their own this year, with the Long Island Welcome Center and the Capital Region Welcome Center each generating over $1 million in sales in 2023 alone, and the Western New York Welcome Center reaching the $1 million mark since its opening in 2018.

In addition to the Taste NY anniversary open house events across the state, several other events highlighted Taste NY this year. In May, the PGA tour in Rochester featured The New York State Tasting Yard, presented by Taste NY and I LOVE NY, an outdoor, patio-style food and beverage sampling experience at Oak Hill. The Tasting Yard featured the best of New York state agriculture, with a rotating array of food and beverages from more than 100 wineries, craft breweries, cideries, meaderies, distilleries, and food producers, and “shone a spotlight on the state's world-class attractions and destinations. This experience gave Championship visitors a taste of New York's world-class agricultural products and cuisine, and a glimpse into the diversity of the farms, vineyards, craft breweries, and attractions across the state,” the press release noted.

During the summer, Taste NY also hosted a special Tasting Yard at The Great New York State Fair, featuring seven local breweries, at the Suburban Park. This outdoor, patio-style food and beverage experience featured a rotating selection of seven state craft breweries over the course of the fair, “giving visitors a taste of New York's world-class craft beverage products while they enjoyed the musical acts, and giving brewers the opportunity to meet new customers.” 

Additionally, Taste NY’s #FindMeAtTheFair contest partnered with New York’s county and youth fairs by asking county fairgoers participate for a chance to win prizes, including Taste NY regional gift baskets and VIP seating for concerts at The Great New York State Fair. County fairs across the state offered a "Find Me at the Fair" New York state-themed selfie station that fairgoers were able to interact with.

The state additionally held two social media contests to celebrate Taste NY’s 10th anniversary and promote New York food, beverages and agritourism during the holiday season. New Yorkers traveling across the state in November and December were invited to participate in the #TriviaTuesday and #TasteTurns10 Selfie contests for a chance to win prizes, including gift baskets filled with New York-made food, beverages and gift items from each region of the state, and gift cards to ShopTasteNY.com – the program’s e-commerce marketplace.

The press release added, “Taste NY has grown significantly since its launch and products can now be found at nearly 70 locations across New York state, including the 11 regional welcome centers, airports, state parks, the Javits Center, and more. Over the last decade, Taste NY has also partnered with major sports venues, such as MVP Arena and the Blue Cross Arena, and formed partnerships with high-profile event organizers to bring Taste NY products to major sporting events such as the 2023 FISU World University Games and the Saratoga RaceCourse.”

More About Taste NY

The press release stated, “Taste NY highlights the quality, diversity, and economic impact of food and beverages grown, produced or processed in New York state. Taste NY aims to create new opportunities for producers through events, retail locations, and partnerships, such as at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse and the PGA Tournament in Rochester.

“Over the last 10 years, Taste NY has supported nearly 2,000 food and beverage producers participating in the program through retail outlets, events and sponsorships. In 2022, 311 new producers were onboarded to the program through New York's welcome centers. Taste NY's food and beverage businesses also support the state's farmers by using New York-grown and -produced ingredients in their products.

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