Chobani Conquers Yogurt Market, Faces New Problem


While America was busy looking for the birth certificate, watching the royal wedding, and celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden, a quiet revolution was taking place. After years and years of dominance by brands such as Dannon and Yoplait, the yogurt category came to be owned, seemingly overnight, by Chobani. In fact, Chobani‘s rise to become the best selling yogurt brand in the US was so fast, the brand is facing a whole new challenge.[more]

In supermarkets around the nation, dairy aisle shelves reserved for Chobani have come to be stocked with, not yogurt, but signs like the one above, snapped in a medium-size city in the middle of Wisconsin.

Now, that’s the kind of problem brands want to have.

Chobani’s success comes despite the product’s hefty price tag, double that of many competitors. For this premium, Chobani offers health benefits such as extra protein and no preservatives. A “Greek” style yogurt, Chobani — which recently launched its first major advertising campaign in the US — is riding the Mediterranean health craze. Greek yogurts as a segment saw a sales jump of nearly 125% between 2008 and 2009 and another 100% the year after.

Greek yogurt brands now account for about 20% of all yogurt sales in the US. Not bad for a product that wasn’t even in the market four years ago. Brands such as Fage, Athenos and Greek Gods have also benefitted from the craze.

In March, SymphonyIRI (which powers its online store locator) called Chobani as one of 2010’s most successful packaged food and beverage brands. Now, if they could only help the brand keep up with demand…