In the spirit of the tourism industry’s I Love New York campaign, a like-minded project will promote the state’s home-grown foods.
A state grant of $705,000 will go toward beefing up marketing of the state’s home-grown products that run the gamut from Finger Lakes wines to seafood caught off the Long Island coast.
“This is a premier spot in New York state to promote the wine and culinary benefits in the state,” said state Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, who announced funding for the new promotional campaign, Sample New York, on Wednesday at the New York Wine and Culinary Center.
“We are the food state,” said Young, who chairs the state Senate’s Agriculture Committee. “We have it all.”
The new campaign will pump money into a variety of marketing programs that include a Web site (SampleNY.org), e-mail “blasts” with information about New York products and an extensive advertising campaign that targets radio, TV and print media, along with banners and the Sample New York logo.
The campaign gets under way in early October, said Wine and Culinary Center Executive Director Alexa Gifford, who showed how the campaign will focus on specific agricultural industries, such as seafood, fruit, dairy and meat. For example, using the “put New York on your fork,” theme, certain months of the year will feature different products. Even chocolate, made with butter from New York cows, will have a place as the food of February, the month of Valentine’s Day.
Ginny Clark, a member of the center’s board and a representative of its founding partner, Constellation Brands Inc., said the campaign will reach three million households.
It will extend as far away as Boston, Pittsburgh and Toronto in promoting products from the state’s nearly 34,200 farms, according to information provided at the news conference.
The success of the Wine and Culinary Center shows that it’s time to take promoting New York products to a new height, said Clark. “To elevate our agriculture products to the level they deserve.”
Gifford said since the center opened in June 2006, it has drawn 180,000 visitors, with 11,000 taking cooking and wine classes, 40,000 drinking wine samplers called “flights” and 61,000 dining in the center’s lounge.
Renée Daldry, a pastry chef instructor at the center who also has her own chocolate business, Renée Suzette’s, said she is excited about the new campaign. A Seneca County native and a chef for 25 years, Daldry said she worked downstate for years and had considered moving to another area of the country before returning to the Finger Lakes. But now she is convinced she wants to stay.
“I am so proud to be from this area,” said Daldry, at a table displaying an array of her truffles and apple turnovers, all made with New York dairy products and local apples.
Culinary delights, including smoked salmon and various gourmet seafood wraps and sandwiches, were available at a reception following the news conference.
“I am going to stay,” said Daldry.
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