Whole Foods to Ditch Chobani
No. 1 Greek yogurt brand will lose its shelf space in 2014
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2013 10:47 AM CST
n this Jan. 13, 2012, file photo, Chobani Greek Yogurt is seen at the Chobani plant in South Edmeston, NY.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

(Newser) – Greek yogurt is hot, but the hottest Greek yogurt brand is losing its place on Whole Foods' shelves. The grocer yesterday announced it is giving Chobani the boot in favor of what the Wall Street Journal calls "smaller, exclusive brands"—specifically those that are organic, and free of GMO ingredients. The change will come early next year, in advance of the company's 2018 deadline to have all the products it carries disclose their GMO ingredients on the label. As the company explains, it "challenged... suppliers to create unique options," including flavors specific to Whole Foods and GMO-free versions, and "at this time, Chobani has chosen a different business model."

For its part, Chobani says its business model isn't reliant on Whole Foods, with the CEO saying the account drives only a modest portion of its $1 billion in annual sales. "It won't hurt our business," says Hamdi Ulukaya, who also explained why his brand, which is preservative- and hormone-free, contains GMOs. He says GMO-free milk isn't available at a large scale at a feasible price, but that Chobani is teaming up with farmers to try to tackle one of the pain points in the process: obtaining GMO-free feed for cows.

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Showing 3 of 31 comments
Dec 20, 2013 12:44 PM CST
I invented my own type of yogurt...Polish Yogurt....it involves putting artificial flavoring into rotten cow's milk and calling it a mixture of yogurt and fruit. Whole Food is picking it up next year because it is perfectly natural.
Lou Bernardo
Dec 19, 2013 10:54 PM CST
Suddenly it was Greek Yogurt in ads everywhere. American consumers are such suckers.
Dec 19, 2013 9:28 PM CST
Good riddance Chobani and your gmo "yogurt". TxMx05: it really isn't that expensive, just stop going out for drinks/dinner 4 times a month and there's your extra cash for good wholesome food. I can't shop at any other "food" stores as they smell like sh*t- ever walk by a Payless- you know that smell that tells you the shoes in there are cheap? That's the same smell at these big "food" stores.