Chobani has expanded its UK offering with the launch of a 2% fat variation of its original fat-free strained yogurt – a move that brings its product portfolio more closely in line with that of rival Fage.
The New York-based yogurt manufacturer has introduced 170g 2% fat yogurt pots, which are available in lemon and passion fruit flavors, to the UK less than a year after its first steps in the country.
Chobani has also launched a 110g pot four-pack concept to its UK product offering.
The launches look likely to better align Chobani’s UK portfolio with Fage’s Total Greek range, which includes its Total Classic, which contains 5g of fat per 100g, Total 2%, which contains 2g of fat per 100g, its Total 0%.
Speaking with DairyReporter.com, Chobani’s UK communications and marketing manager, Christine Fung, brushed off suggestions that the launches are designed to improve its competitiveness against Fage.
According to Fung, it was the success of its 2% variation in the US drove the UK launch.
“Our 2% range is well established and hugely popular in the US, so we’re excited about the opportunity to offer new flavour option to our UK consumers,” she said.
Since its establishment in 2007, Chobani has grown to become the largest Greek yogurt brand in the US. The company entered the UK market in September 2012, with the launch of six varieties of its 170g Greek yogurt pots.
But within six months, the company hit its first stumbling block, when the UK High Court ordered it to stop using the term ‘Greek yogurt’ to market its products in England and Wales following a legal battle with Fage.
During the case, Fage argued that Chobani should not be allowed to use the term ‘Greek yogurt’ as its products are not manufactured in Greece.
An appeal against the High Court decision is set to be heard later this year.
Chobani appears undeterred, however, by the legal issues experienced in year one.
“We are unable to comment on any aspect of pending litigation, however sales of Chobani Strained Yogurt continue to grow and we expect even further growth with our launch into ASDA stores this month,” said Fung.
Chobani yogurt marketed in the UK continues to be manufactured in the US, but Fung indicated that this could also change - indicating that plans are afoot to move production nearer to British consumers.
“These products are currently manufactured at our New Berlin, New York plant,” said Fung.
“We hope to source somewhere in Europe shortly.”