The company’s Australian operation will be responsible for exporting 15 Chobani lines to the Southeast Asian country three months after commencing exports to Singapore, and 19 months after the opening of its A$30m (US$27.9m) plant on the outskirts of Melbourne.
Peter Meek, managing director at Chobani Australia, said the Malaysian move follows strong initial demand from neighbouring Singapore, from which the company’s now-established supply chain will be expanded.
“The opportunity in Malaysia, similar to Singapore, came out of an overwhelming number of proactive requests from distributors to bring Chobani Australia’s yogurt to Malaysia,” Meek said.
Under the agreement with Malaysian distributor Gourmet Partner, 15 Chobani SKUs will be sold through hotels and high-end retailers, including Aeon, DFI and Tesco.
The products that fall under the export agreement include 170g single-serve pots in Plain, Blood Orange, Blueberry, Black Cherry, Lemon, Mango, Raspberry, Passion Fruit and Strawberry, in fat-free yogurt and low-fat yogurt varieties.
Five flavours of 140g pouches will also be available, as well as fat-free Plain Chobani in a 907g multi-serve format.
“There is a growing appetite for wholesome, high protein yogurt made of milk, not powder, in Malaysia, particularly amongst young Malaysians from high socioeconomic backgrounds.
“This played a key role in the first phase of our distribution strategy, which puts Chobani next to other premium, Western product in high-end stores, as well as in hotels that cater to business people and expats.
“Every market is unique, but what is consistent so far is that all early indicators show strong demand for Chobani Greek Yogurt in Asia.”
Chobani Australia’s manufacturing plant was significantly expanded in 2012 in order to cater for anticipated continual local growth and export into Asia-Pacific.
Meek said Chobani will scope out more Apac markets and identify the best distribution partners from the hundreds of unsolicited proposals it has been receiving since launching in Australia just over two years ago.