Greek Yogurt Marketing Wars are Heating Up

June 30, 2013 — Leave a comment

Chobani Greek Yogurt is one of the most successful brand marketing stories in recent years. They built the Greek Yogurt Category in the United States. Turkish immigrant Handi Ulukaya introduced Chobani in 2007 because he disliked the taste of American yogurt. He thought the yogurt in America was, well horrible. He thought that if he made a better product people would purchase it. Ulukaya and his team spent two years perfecting the product prior to its introduction. Chobani has experienced rapid growth and sales are estimated to exceed $1 Billion Dollars annually. Ulukaya has won numerous innovation awards including the 2013 Ernst and Young World Entrepreneur of the Year and the Disruptive Innovator at the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards.

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Greek Yogurt has grown to 60% of the yogurt category. Demand for yogurt in the United States has jumped in recent years buoyed by interest in healthier products. Category dollar sales are growing nearly 9% a year. For many people, yogurt is an important part of their lifestyle.

However, 40% of Americans do not consume yogurt products and yogurt overall is perceived as a feminine product. Per capita consumption of yogurt is still below that seen in Europe or the UK. Some experts call the United States an “emerging market” for yogurt.

The Greek Yogurt Category is attracting a lot of interest from deep pocketed marketers. Dannon and Yoplait while slow to respond initially, now have Greek Yogurt products. Chobani, Dannon, Fage and Yoplait are the top four brands. Fage, the original Greek Yogurt Brand was introduced in the United States in 1998, nine years before Chobani. Muller, a Pepsi Co Brand and Ehrmann, the largest brand of Greek Yogurt in Europe are also entering the market. Let the spending begin.

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Chobani was founded on the belief that people have great taste. They just need great options. Chobani was founded to make high-quality, great tasting yogurt made with only natural ingredients available to the masses.

Chobani, the category leader announced last week that it is conducting an advertising agency review. Its second agency shift this year. The brand is planning to significantly increase media expenditures. While I am aware of the product, I can’t think of a Chobani ad that I remember. With all the marketing spending planned for this category it is critical that Chobani tells their unique story in a creative and compelling way that builds an emotional connection with consumers.

What is your favorite brand of yogurt?

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