Chobani is launching its first major product in two years as the Greek yogurt giant looks to expand its signature offering beyond the core breakfast category.
Chobani Creations, which is reaching store shelves this week, is described by the food manufacturer as a “sophisticated yogurt” aimed at adult consumers who crave a better-for-you, indulgent product. The dessert-inspired Greek yogurt comes in six flavors: Mocha Tiramisu, Apple Pie a la Mode, Cherry Cheesecake, Orange Cream Pop, Bananas Foster and Caramel Sundae.
“There are a number of different levers we’ve pulling to kind of stretch the usage occasions of yogurt” throughout the day, Niel Sandfort, chief innovation officer at Chobani, said in an interview. “Getting yogurt out of the breakfast occasion is always a goal for us on the innovation side. ... [Chobani Creations] is clearly not a breakfast item.”
An estimated 45% of yogurt buyers in the U.S. consume it in a drink or spoonable form for breakfast, according to Mintel data provided by Chobani.
Creations build off of the success Chobani is having with its Flip line introduced in 2014, which allows shoppers to combine mix-ins — such as graham crackers and milk chocolate in S’Mores; or pretzels, milk chocolate and toffee pieces in Salted Caramel Crunch — with the company’s Greek yogurt.
While Chobani Flip is geared predominately toward satisfying the snacking needs of parents and their children, Chobani Creations is viewed more as a “luxurious ... planned indulgence,” Sandfort said. A consumer, rather than having a pie, sundae or cheesecake, can have a Chobani Creations that is healthier but at the same time has the same indulgence and comfort food feel typically associated with those desserts.
Chobani Creations comes more than a year after the company shifted its strategy to focus on innovating within its core portfolio, led by its $1 billion-plus yogurt business, rather than entering new categories. During that time, it brought its Chobani Zero Sugar into a drinkable form, launched new flavor versions of its coffee creamers and introduced new limited-batch flavors of its signature yogurt.
Before then, it had been aggressively stretching the Chobani name beyond yogurt as part of a broader effort to transform the 16-year-old business into a food and beverage giant. Since 2019, Chobani has debuted oatmilk, cold-brew coffee, probiotic beverages and coffee creamers.
Chobani, which controls a fifth of the yogurt market through traditional Greek yogurt, Flip, Less Sugar and Zero Sugar, has been outpacing the broader category during the last year. Yogurt sales at the New York-based company grew 11.6% for the last 52 weeks ending December 2, Nielsen data provided by the company showed, while the broader yogurt segment grew 9.9%.
Creations include many of the attributes Chobani regularly incorporates into its products, including the use of real fruit as well as natural ingredients and the avoidance of anything artificial. Each container also includes 10 grams of protein and billions of probiotics.
One notable expectation from prior yogurt launches, however, comes in its packaging.
Each cup comes in clear packaging, a first for Chobani. Sandfort said the packaging creates a unique and more visually appealing eating experience for the consumer who can see, for example, the coffee yogurt on the top layer and the chocolate compote on the bottom in its new Mocha Tiramisu flavor.
“It’s differentiating and saying [to the consumer], ‘Hey, this is new. This is different. You’ve never seen this before from us. Give it a try,’ ” he said.
Chobani has proven to be a strong innovator since it debuted in 2007 with its Greek yogurt that contained less sugar than other products on the market.
But not all its products have proven to be a hit. In 2022, Chobani ended production of ultra-filtered dairy milk after fewer than 3 months to focus its resources on other parts of its business. And in 2021, it discontinued Non-Dairy Chobani, its plant-based offering that first reached the market in early 2019, amid a broader slowdown in niche yogurt category.