Chobani basically turned yogurt into the hottest food around for a while thanks to its success at introducing thick, creamy Greek yogurt to America. At the time, it was a welcome antidote to all the thin, drippy, way-too-sweet yogurt on grocery store shelves, but in a totally puzzling new move, Chobani is now branching out into the aforementioned “classic” yogurt field.
Greek yogurt had a big boom after it first came out, and even the other major players on the yogurt scene like Yoplait and Dannon have had their own versions of the stuff. That caused sales of Greek yogurt to fall by 5 percent last year — but sales of classic yogurt have only fallen 2.8 percent. Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya thinks the discrepancy between the two exists because there have been too many copycats in the Greek yogurt field, and while people are still eating it, the numbers have leveled off.
His solution is Chobani Smooth, a low-fat line of yogurts that’s much more similar in taste and texture to the kind you probably grew up eating.
One thing that might help sales of the new product is that it’s going to be sold in Whole Foods. That’s kind of puzzling in itself, as Whole Foods originally stopped selling Chobani in 2013, claiming it wanted something more unique… I guess a Chobani-branded regular yogurt fit the bill?
I’m not entirely sold on Chobani branching out into the boring, bland, basic yogurt market. Just like I always give the side-eye to Greek yogurt by brands that don’t specialize in it, I’m also kind of leery of Chobani trying to do the opposite.
Then again, stranger things have happened. I once ate Activia, a yogurt that’s claim to fame is to intentionally making you poop, so honestly, I have nothing left to lose.