The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) officially added Greek yogurt to the list of products available through the National School Lunch Program in April 2015.
In June 2015, Chobani was selected by the USDA to serve as the main supplier of Greek yogurt to the National School Lunch Program.
Asked if the addition of Greek yogurt to the National School Lunch Program will create a generation of Chobani eaters, Peter McGuinness, the company's chief marketing and brand officer, told DairyReporter.com: "We sure hope so."
New York-based Chobani was paid the “significantly reduced” price of $148,019 to supply 115,914 pounds (lbs) of low-fat, high-protein Greek yogurt to schools for children aged five to 18 in August and September.
“When it comes to kids, for us it’s less about making money or moving market share,” McGuinness said.
“It’s more about making an investment in children and providing them with healthier options in school – better food for more children,” he added.
The USDA trialed Greek yogurt on the National School Lunch Program in New York, Idaho, Arizona and Tennessee between September and November 2013.
Between September 2014 and June 2015, the pilot was extended to schools in California, Iowa, Connecticut, Illinois, Vermont, Washington and Mississippi.
Following the success of the Greek yogurt pilot, 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 10 states - Arizona, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, New York and Washington - in August and September.
New York-based Upstate Niagara and Vermont-based Commonwealth Dairy were selected alongside Chobani to supply the schools.
Schools in South Carolina, North Dakota and Georgia have now signed up.
On August 6, the USDA called for bids to supply a total of 193,320 lbs of high-protein, low-fat yogurt to schools in Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, New York, Vermont, Iowa, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, North Dakota, and Washington.
The yogurt - 60,684 lbs of blueberry yogurt in 4oz pots, 99,036 lbs of strawberry yogurt in 4oz pots, 19,200 lbs of vanilla yogurt in 4oz pots, and 14,400 lbs of vanilla yogurt in 32oz tubs - will be delivered to the schools in October, November and December.
Chobani plans to supply the National School Lunch Program in long-term, McGuinness added.
“Our founding mission since day one has been to make better food for more people," he said.