Is Chobani’s Perfect Image Getting Tarnished?

There are not many meteoric success stories in today’s cutthroat food industry, but one company that came out of nowhere and has grown exponentially for the last 7 years is Chobani. The company pretty much created the Greek Yogurt category in the US, and is now selling a billion dollars worth of strained yogurt every year. The rags-to-riches story of its founder is something etched in the ethos of America. And from our perspective, yogurt is a super food, so we are rooting for more companies like Chobani to succeed.

But in the last few months, several developments have given some observers cause to pause:

1. A report on the negative environmental impact of acid whey, the byproduct of Greek yogurts. This is the liquid strained in order to create the characteristic thick and creamy texture.

2. Recent recalls of some Chobani products due to mold growth on the inside of some yogurts. In fact, a lawsuit is being filed against the company alleging negligence in handling the problem once it was discovered.

Is this the price of growing too big, too fast? Is this the fate of any company once it reaches a certain size? We sure hope Chobani can figure out how to continue its growth while maintaining the ethics and practices of a small player.

  • Kim M.

    I admit I recently switched away from Chobani recently (to Fage) because the texture of some of their flavors was more like American-style yogurts, and not as thick and creamy as it used to be. Fage is more expensive but the sugar count was lower and protein count was higher so, for now, $.25 more a serving is worth it to me.

    • Rachel

      I’ve also switched to Fage! I noticed that the ingredients Chobani uses aren’t as healthy. Chobani tends to add a lot of sugars!

      • Chobani

        Hi, Rachel. As we noted above, Chobani is a packed with protein cup that is lightly sweetened, mostly naturally.

    • Chobani

      Hi, Kim. Did ya know most of the sugar in our cups is naturally occuring in the form of lactose and sucrose? Then we add a wee bit of evaporated cane juice. We hope you’ll spoon in again soon!

  • Simoné Cameron

    I like Siggi, as they offer the lowest sugar content in their yogurts. Especially love the coconut flavor. Its Scandinavian style so very much similar to Greek. They also use milk from Grass Fed Cows which is much better for you than conventional

    • Lovesfood

      I agree! just started eating Siggis and am spoiled, it’s better than any greek yogurt, love the Coconut and just tried the Pumpkin Spice, so delicious! and worth every penny.

      • Simoné Cameron

        Pumpkin spice, not seen it yet. Sounds awesome. Probably a new fall flavor. I usually stock up when they are on sale at wholefoods 4 for $5!

  • Heike Y.

    I still like Chobani and they will figure out their mistakes. I don’t like Fage – to thick and Siggi to expensive. I am eating yogurt without fruit unless I add if fresh – no problem with to much sugar on my end.

  • Judy L

    Organic Stoneyfield Greek yogurt is non-GMO and the best choice out there. Good tasting too.

    • Chobani

      Hi, Judy. We do not claim to be GMO-free but are committed to to addressing GMOs. Currently, we use milk from over 78,000+ cows, across 875+ farms surrounding our plants. We are working closely with our farming partners to navigate this very complex landscape as the issue is much larger than we are and needs to be addressed collectively by key private and public stakeholders.

  • Andrea T

    Greek yogurt is so easy to make it at home. Just buy regular yogurt (plain, unsweetened) and strain through cheesecloth or a chinois. Best of luck to Chobani, and good for them for commenting here.