Chobani, America’s top-selling Greek yogurt brand, has launched a line of coconut-based vegan yogurts. The yogurts are infused with probiotics and contains less sugar than other non-dairy options on the market (an average of 4 grams less per 5.3 ounce serving). They are also devoid of GMOs, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
“We have dairy in our veins for sure,” Peter McGuinness, Chobani’s chief marketing and commercial officer, tells Fortune of the new venture. “But there’s this emerging non-dairy part of the yogurt aisle that’s here to stay.”
He notes that the new product addresses textural concerns that, he says, are prevalent in other plant-based yogurt options, which are often too thin or contain too much sugar.
"I loved the texture and thought it was the perfect amount of sweetness," says Cooking Light writer Lauren Wicks of the new Chobani yogurt. "I also like that it isn't as tart as some of the other coconut-based yogurts I've tried before."
“We’ve come up with something that’s much better than what’s out there — a new recipe that’s absolutely delicious, but also meets our food philosophy of being nutritious, made with only natural ingredients and at a price that’s accessible to all," says Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani's founder and CEO. "Most importantly, this isn’t a replacement for dairy, but it’s a game-changer for plant-based products.”
The new plant-based line is available in both single-serve cup and drinkable varieties and features several flavors including plain, strawberry, vanilla, and mango.
While plant-based yogurts are certainly popular among vegans, omnivorous consumers are also eschewing dairy, a trend that is directly contributing to declining yogurt sales, according to Mintel. Nearly nine in 10 households that purchase milk alternatives also purchase dairy milk some of the time, according to a 2017 USDA report, and while only six percent of the U.S. population uses the term "vegan" to describe their diet, the plant-based food and beverage market continues to experience steady growth.
In December, Chobani inaugurated its Community Impact Fund, providing $100,000 in grants to four beneficiaries in the central New York region, including Sidney Central School District. The school district plans to use the funds to incorporate a food truck into its nutritional education program.
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