Chobani’s core product is its Greek dairy yoghurt, made ‘the authentic way’ with a centuries-old straining technique to remove excess liquid, without any thickeners added – and a lot of effort has been put into creating unique, creative yoghurt products based on this.
“The great thing about yoghurt is its versatility and [there is] something for everyone and every occasion, whether it be breakfast, a snack or a sweet treat,” Chobani Australia Managing Director Lyn Radford told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“[For example], it’s hard to go past our Chobani Plain 0.5% fat yogurt because of its versatility. The rich, tangy taste is perfect for sweetening with fruit and granola or savoured in a variety of recipes.
“This versatility is [also] achieved through our range of flavours, and the various formats in which it is available. We’re always looking to drive authentic innovation in the yoghurt category and expand the ways consumers use yogurt [to] inject some excitement into the yoghurt category beyond expected flavours and experiences.”
One of the ways the firm has utilised this yoghurt versatility is by using its Greek yoghurt to create both health-focused and fun-focused categories within its portfolio – namely its FiT and FiT X series to cater to consumers looking for high-protein, low-sugar options and its Flip range for consumers looking for a fun yoghurt experience.
“The Chobani FiT and Fit X [yoghurt ranges] were carefully crafted to meet the increasing needs of consumers with high protein and no added sugar as key selection criteria,” said Radford.
“FiT [aims to deliver] the perfect balance of taste, texture and flavour with the added benefits of 15g of protein per pot without any added sugar, [whereas] FiT X was brought to the market for those looking for healthy, low sugar options without sacrificing delicious taste.”
FiT X products have slightly lower protein content than FiT at 13g, but cater to an audience with a sweeter tooth and in search of somewhat more decadent options as these contain ingredients such as chocolate bits and cookie pieces – but still cater to the health-seeking crowd as it utilises low-fat yoghurt and has no sugar added.
“As for Chobani Flip, the aim was to target completely different occasions for yogurt. While a lot of consumers will still eat this [as a breakfast yoghurt], many consumers also like this as an afternoon snack or late-night treat,” she added.
“Our fans have come to expect fresh, fun and creative products [when it comes to Chobani Flip], and especially when it comes to our limited batch products as we always do things a little differently and go the extra mile.”
Chobani’s Flip products are usually occasion or festival-themed, such as Pumpkin Pie for Halloween, Mandarin Orange for Chinese New Year, Hot Cross Bun for Easter and so on – and these will contain more than just yoghurt but also fruit or crunch bits according to the theme.
“The aim at Chobani is always to continue to push the boundaries of innovation [and] keep that entrepreneurial spark alive [whilst] providing better food for all people, so we will never stop innovating,” said Radford.
The future is flexitarian
In line with this spirit, Radford emphasized that the firm aims to not just cater to dairy consumers, but to provide options for everyone.
“When we say better food for all people, that includes those looking for non-dairy options,” she said.
“The future is flexitarian! The growth of non-dairy alternatives is being driven by shoppers seeking balance - In Australia alone, 2.5 million consumers prefer an all or partially plant-based diet. This includes a growing number of flexitarians, who aren’t cutting out dairy or meat altogether, but are instead looking for balance.
“It’s not a black and white world where you either have dairy or you don’t – it’s all about having options, Whether it’s a dairy or non-dairy option consumers are choosing, they aren’t willing to compromise on quality and taste, and they shouldn’t have to.”
Chobani Australia took its first step beyond the dairy category in 2020 with the launch of its launching Chobani Oat Barista Edition into the foodservice market
Chobani Oat is currently still being imported into Australia from the United States, but Radford added that the firm is working on bringing in local manufacturing for this, which would open up ‘so many more options for expansion’.
“[Chobani Oat was launched last year] to meet evolving consumer needs and this year we’re excited to expand beyond this channel,” she said.
“We’re working on bringing the manufacturing of this over to Australia [whereupon we’ll have] and oat base to work with, which we can look to turn into various other products like yoghurts, ice-cream, beverages and more.
“We are really excited by the versatility of the oat base and the variety of other products that can be made from it, so there is plenty of opportunity for future innovations that push the boundaries and bring some excitement to the non-dairy category.”