News highlights, market trends, and original data analysis related to the U.S. retail food & beverage industry … by Jay Nargundkar
In the food world, not many brands/companies come from seemingly overnight to dominate an industry. Yet that’s just what Chobani, Inc., (formerly known as Agro-Farma) has done. Founded in 2005 by a Kurdish immigrant in an abandoned Kraft Foods plant, it now sells over $1 billion a year as the #1 yogurt manufacturer in the U.S.
Their “Greek” (strained) yogurt almost single-handedly revolutionized Americans’ eating habits (despite Fage launching first), and now the company has plans to get even bigger. Chobani announced yesterday it has received a $750 million loan from private equity firm TPG, with a possible equity stake to come.
Chobani’s once-insurmountable lead in the market, while still comfortable, has been narrowing. In 2010, Dannon Oikos was barely a $30M brand, being outsold 9:1 by Chobani. Thanks to high name recognition and advertising (John Stamos!) that gap had closed to 2:1 in 2013. Chobani has remained focused on one product category all this time, too, but that will change soon.
Various published reports have the company set to possibly expand into a variety of offerings, including steel-cut oats, desserts, cream cheese, and more. With other rumors suggesting Chobani wants to go public in 2015 — sure to be one of the hottest IPOs in recent memory — consumers should expect a slew of new offerings to hit shelves in the coming months.