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Chobani LLC
Industry Food processing
Founded 2005; 13 years ago (2005)
South Edmeston, New York, U.S.
Founder Hamdi Ulukaya
Headquarters Norwich, New York, U.S.
Key people
Hamdi Ulukaya, founder & CEO
Number of employees
2,000+ (2018)[1]

Chobani is an American brand of strained yogurt produced by Chobani LLC. The company was founded in 2005 when Hamdi Ulukaya[2][3] bought a plant in the town of South Edmeston, New York,[4] that was being closed by Kraft Foods. Ulukaya hired several of the former Kraft employees as well as a "yogurt master" and launched his brand in 2007.[5]


Ulukaya, a Turkish Kurd, chose the name Chobani as a variation of the Turkish word çoban, itself derived from Persian čupân چوپان, meaning "shepherd".[6][7][8]

Chobani had approximately 3,000 employees in 2011 and was the top-selling brand of Greek-style yogurt in the United States.[9] In 2012, Chobani became an official sponsor of the US Olympic Team[10] and premiered their first national commercial during the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.[11]

On December 17, 2012, Chobani opened one of the world’s largest yogurt-processing plants in Twin Falls, Idaho. The one million square-foot (93,000 m²) facility cost $450 million and employs 300 people. Mr. Ulukaya said, “The state expects the total economic impact of our business there to be $1.3 billion.”[12] The plant won the 2013 DBIA Design-Build Project of the Year award and the 2013 Food Plant of the Year award from Food Engineering magazine.[13]

In April 2016, Chobani announced it was giving 10 percent of its ownership stake to its employees. Considering there are 2,000 employees, this would be on average $150,000 per employee.[14] Some employees will be becoming instant millionaires as a result of this action, because share awards were based on tenure at the company.[15]

In August 2018, the company launched Chobani Savor, a brand for their yogurt-based condiment.[16]


On July 25, 2012, Chobani opened its first yogurt bar in New York City's SoHo neighborhood. In October 2016, Chobani debuted their cafe in a Tribeca Target store. The menu consists of various dishes made with Chobani's yogurt and other natural ingredients.[17][18]

Chobani sells thick, Greek-style yogurt with a higher protein content than traditional yogurt and is among one of the main companies to popularize this style of yogurt.[19] It promotes its products as healthy food.[20]

On September 3, 2013, Chobani pulled some of its Greek-style yogurt from supermarket shelves after hearing of "swelling or bloating" in cups. The company said it has investigated and found a type of mold commonly found in dairy that may be to blame.[21] Chobani announced a voluntary recall on September 5 in cooperation with the FDA.[22] On September 9, 2013, the FDA reported at least 89 people have reported getting sick after eating the yogurt.[23]

International expansion[edit]


November 2011 marked the first international expansion for Chobani as their products were launched in New South Wales, Australia.[24] Chobani now sponsors the Australian Short Track Speed Skating Team.


A short-lived Canadian launch followed shortly.[25] In 2013, after the expiration of a Canadian importation permit, failure to secure a long term milk supply Chobani withdrew from the Canadian market.[26]


September 2012 saw Chobani’s introduction in the UK when their yogurt was carried in 200 Tesco stores.[27]

Chobani was ordered in 2013 to change their yogurt's labeling in England and Wales after a judge ruled that the wording "Greek yoghurt" (rather than Greek-style) misled consumers into thinking the yogurt was made in Greece (yogurt imported from Greece is sold in Britain, and is the only type sold as "Greek").[28][29]


August 2016 saw Chobani’s introduction in Mexico[27]

Awards and honors[edit]

Chobani was named in 2017 by Fast Company magazine as one of the 10 most innovative companies in the world, and number one in both the Food and Social Good categories.[30] In addition, they made Fortune magazine's third annual list of 50 companies that are changing the world in 2017.[31]

Alex Jones lawsuit[edit]

On 24 April 2017, Chobani filed a defamation lawsuit in Idaho state court against Alex Jones following a number of allegations made on the InfoWars website.[32] As a result of the lawsuit, Jones issued an apology and retraction of his allegations on 17 May 2017.[33]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Cultural revolution: The Greek-yogurt phenomenon in America left big food firms feeling sour. They are trying to get better at innovation". The Economist. 2013-08-31. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  3. ^ Pendleton, Devon (2012-09-14). "Hidden Chobani Billionaire Emerges as Greek Yogurt Soars". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  4. ^ "How rural Chenango County became Greek yogurt capital: The story behind Chobani yogurt". Retrieved 2017-08-03. 
  5. ^ Prasso, Sheridan (29 November 2011). "Chobani: The unlikely king of yogurt". CNN Money. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Rebecca Mead (November 4, 2013). "Just Add Sugar: how an immigrant from Turkey turned Greek yogurt into an American snack food". The New Yorker. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  7. ^ Bryan Gruley (February 4, 2013). "At Chobani, the Turkish King of Greek Yogurt". Bloomberg News. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  8. ^ ویکی, پارسی. "چوپان | پارسی ویکی". Retrieved 2017-06-10. 
  9. ^ "Business Insider: Trendy Greek Yogurt Chobani Is Officially The Top Selling Brand In America". Oct 8, 2011. Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  10. ^ Elliott, Stuart (14 June 2012). "Anything-but-Ordinary Mom Pitches for Chobani Yogurt". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  11. ^ Bautista, Camille. "Chobani's first national TV ad to run during Olympic opening ceremonies". The Post-Standard. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  12. ^ Strom, Stephanie (16 December 2012). "U.S. Hunger for Yogurt Leads to Gigantic Factory". New York Times. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  13. ^ Fichbach, Amy (February 2014). "Chobani Builds World's Largest Yogurt Plant". Electrical Construction and Maintenance. 113 (2): C6–C8. Retrieved 2014-03-09. 
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-27. Retrieved 2016-04-27. 
  15. ^ Strom, Stephanie (26 Apr 2016). "At Chobani, It's Not Just the Yogurt That's Rich". New York Times (27 Apr 2016). Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  16. ^ Siegner, Cathy (10 August 2018). "Chobani enters the condiment market". Food Dive. Industry Dive. Retrieved 10 August 2018. 
  17. ^ "Chobani Yogurt Bar Makes Big Apple Debut". The Gourmet Retailer. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  18. ^ "Nothing But Good: Chobani Founder Hamdi Ulukaya Named Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Overall Award Winner". Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  19. ^ Gasparro, Annie; Josephs, Leslie (19 December 2013). "Whole Foods To Stop Selling Chobani. same sex, lesbian yogurt commercial has led to boycott attempt by several family advocacy organizations Yogurt". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  20. ^ "There's No Science In Yogurt, Says Chobani". Slate. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  21. ^ "Chobani Pulls 'Fizzy,' 'Swelling' Yogurt Off Shelves". 3 September 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  22. ^ Choi, Candice (5 September 2013). "Chobani recalls some Greek yogurt cups". USA Today. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  23. ^ "Chobani Yogurt Linked to 89 Reports of Illness". ABC News. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  24. ^ Paish, Matt. "Chobani hopes to bring U.S. Greek yoghurt boom to Australia". Australian Food News. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  25. ^ "Chobani, America's most loved yogurt, now in Canada". Canada NewsWire. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  26. ^ "Chobani no longer on Canadian shelves". 
  27. ^ a b "Llega a México Chobani, la marca #1 de yogurt estilo griego en los Estados Unidos". PRNEWSWIRE. Mexico. 26 August 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  28. ^ Andrew Trotman "Chobani misled UK shoppers into thinking yoghurt was made in Greece: The US maker of Chobani yoghurt has been ordered to change the product's labelling in England and Wales after a judge ruled it was misleading shoppers," The Telegraph (28 March 2013).
  29. ^ Julia Glotz "Fage scores victory against Chobani in Greek yoghurt case," The Grocer (28 March 2013).
  30. ^ "The Most Innovative Companies of 2017". Fast Company Magazine. Retrieved 26 April 2017.  "Chobani". Fast Company. Retrieved 2 October 2017. 
  31. ^ "A fast-rising food company shares the wealth with resettled refugees". Fortune. Retrieved 2 October 2017. 
  32. ^ Hawkins, Derek (25 April 2017). "Chobani sues Alex Jones, saying he falsely linked company to child rape, tuberculosis". The Washington Post. 
  33. ^ Montero, David (17 May 2017). "Alex Jones settles Chobani lawsuit and retracts comments about refugees in Twin Falls, Idaho". Los Angeles Times. 

External links[edit]