USDA selects Chobani to supply high-protein Greek yogurt to schools

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

USDA selects Chobani to supply high-protein Greek yogurt to schools

Related tags: Greek yogurt

Chobani has been selected by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to serve as the main supplier of Greek yogurt to the National School Lunch Program.

New York-based Chobani was chosen to supply 115,914 lbs of Greek yogurt - blueberry, strawberry and vanilla yogurt in 4oz pots and vanilla yogurt in 32oz tubs - to schools participating in the National School Lunch Program.

The USDA issued a call to manufacturers for bids to supply a total of 170,154 lbs of high-protein, low-fat yogurt for delivery to schools in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, New York and Washington in August and September.

Also successful were New York-based Upstate Niagara and Vermont-based Commonwealth Dairy.

Upstate Niagara will supply 47,040 lbs of strawberry yogurt in 4oz pots in exchange for payment of $60,211.20. Commonwealth Dairy will be paid $9,000 for 7,000 lbs of vanilla yogurt in 32oz tubs.

Chobani will be paid a "significantly reduced"​ price of $148,019. 

“When it comes to kids, for us it’s less about making money or moving market share,”​ said Peter McGuinness, chief marketing officer, Chobani.

“It’s more about making an investment in children and providing them with healthier options in school – better food for more children," ​he added.

"Confirms the success of these programs"

The USDA officially added Greek yogurt to the list of items available through the National School Lunch Program​ in April 2015, following the success of a Greek yogurt pilot.

It trialled Greek yogurt on the National School Lunch Program in New York, Idaho, Arizona and Tennessee between September and November 2013. 

Phase two, which ran between September 2014 and June 2015, saw the pilot extended to schools in California, Iowa, Connecticut, Illinois, Vermont, Washington and Mississippi.

In August and September, Chobani, Upstate Niagara and Commonwealth Dairy will supply schools in a 10 US states. Chobani, however, expects this number to grow.

"The most recent bid was the first that invited all states to participate, with 10 states electing to take part: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Vermont, and Washington,​" it said.

"Officials expect other states to participate in this program in the coming school year."

"Today's announcement confirms the success of these programs, designed to evaluate the benefits of adding Greek yogurt to school meal programs as a healthy protein choice for students,"​ it added.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Yogurt and Desserts

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