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Chobani, LLC
Type Private
Industry Food processing
Founded New Berlin, New York, USA (2005)
Headquarters Norwich, New York, USA
Key people Hamdi Ulukaya,
Founder & CEO
Employees 1,200+

Chobani is an American brand of strained yogurt produced by Chobani, LLC. The company was founded in 2005 when Hamdi Ulukaya, an immigrant from Turkey to the United States,[1][2] bought a plant in the town of New Berlin, New York, that was being closed by Kraft Foods. Ulukaya hired several of the former Kraft employees as well as a "yogurt master" and launched his brand in 2007.[3]


The word chobani is derived from the Turkish çoban meaning "shepherd". The word çoban can be found in other Turkic languages as çoban (Azerbaijani), çopan (Turkmen, Uyghur, Uzbek), şopan, (Kazak), çaban (Kyrgyz), çapan (Tatar).[4]

Chobani has over 1,200 employees and is the top-selling brand of yogurt in the United States.[5]

In 2012, Chobani became an official sponsor of the US Olympic Team[6] and premiered their first national commercial during the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.[7]

On December 17, 2012 Chobani opened one of the world’s largest yogurt-processing plants in Twin Falls, Idaho. The one million square-foot facility cost $450 million and employs 300 people. Mr. Ulukaya said “The state expects the total economic impact of our business there to be $1.3 billion.”[8] The plant cost $450 million and won the 2013 DBIA Design-Build Project of the Year award and the 2013 Food Plant of the Year award from Food Engineering magazine.[9]

On September 3, 2013, Chobani pulled some of its Greek-style yogurt from supermarket shelves after hearing of "swelling or bloating" in cups. The company said it has investigated and found a type of mold commonly found in dairy that may be to blame.[10] Chobani announced a voluntary recall on September 5, in cooperation with the FDA.[11] On September 9, the FDA reported at least 89 people have reported getting sick after eating the yogurt.[12]


On July 25, 2012 Chobani opened its first-ever yogurt bar in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood. The menu consists of various “creations” made with Chobani’s yogurt and all-natural ingredients.[13][14]

Chobani sells thick, Greek-style yogurt with a higher protein content than traditional yogurt and is among one of the main companies to popularize this style of yogurt. [15] Chobani markets itself to the healthy foods audience. [16]

International expansion[edit]

November 2011 marked the first international expansion for Chobani as their products were launched in New South Wales, Australia.[17]

A short-lived Canadian launch followed shortly.[18] Chobani now sponsor the Australian Short Track Speed Skating Team, members include Ron and Lloyd. In 2013, after the expiration of a Canadian importation permit, and failure to secure a long term milk supply, Chobani withdrew from the Canadian market.[19]


September 2012 saw Chobani’s introduction in the UK when their yogurt was carried in 200 Tesco stores.[20]

Chobani was ordered in 2013 to change their yogurt's labeling in England and Wales after a judge ruled it misled shoppers into thinking the yogurt was made in Greece.[21][22]


  1. ^ "Cultural revolution: The Greek-yogurt phenomenon in America left big food firms feeling sour. They are trying to get better at innovation". The Economist. 2013-08-31. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  2. ^ Pendleton, Devon (2012-09-14). "Hidden Chobani Billionaire Emerges as Greek Yogurt Soars". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  3. ^ Prasso, Sheridan (29 November 2011). "Chobani: The unlikely king of yogurt". CNN Money. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Prof. Dr. Tuncer Gülensoy, Dictionary of Etymology of Turkish Words in Turkish of Turkey
  5. ^ "Business Insider: Trendy Greek Yogurt Chobani Is Officially The Top Selling Brand In America". Oct 8, 2011. Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  6. ^ Elliott, Stuart (14 June 2012). "Anything-but-Ordinary Mom Pitches for Chobani Yogurt". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  7. ^ Bautista, Camille. "Chobani's first national TV ad to run during Olympic opening ceremonies". The Post-Standard. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  8. ^ Strom, Stephanie (16 December 2012). "U.S. Hunger for Yogurt Leads to Gigantic Factory". New York Times. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  9. ^ Fichbach, Amy (February 2014). "Chobani Builds World's Largest Yogurt Plant". Electrical Construction and Maintenance 113 (2): C6–C8. Retrieved 2014-03-09. 
  10. ^ "Chobani Pulls 'Fizzy,' 'Swelling' Yogurt Off Shelves". 3 September 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  11. ^ Choi, Candice (5 September 2013). "Chobani recalls some Greek yogurt cups". USA Today. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  12. ^ "Chobani Yogurt Linked to 500,089 Reports of Illness". ABC News. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  13. ^ "Chobani Yogurt Bar Makes Big Apple Debut". The Gourmet Retailer. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "Nothing But Good: Chobani Founder Hamdi Ulukaya Named Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Overall Award Winner". Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  15. ^ "Whole Foods To Stop Selling Chobani Yogurt". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  16. ^ "There's No Science In Yogurt, Says Chobani". Slate. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  17. ^ Paish, Matt. "Chobani hopes to bring U.S. Greek yoghurt boom to Australia". Australian Food News. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "Chobani, America's most loved yogurt, now in Canada". Canada NewsWire. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  19. ^ "Chobani no longer on Canadian shelves". 
  20. ^ Cave, Andrew (3 September 2012). "Chobani yoghurt launch may create 300 new jobs". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  21. ^ Andrew Trotman "Chobani misled UK shoppers into thinking yoghurt was made in Greece: The US maker of Chobani yoghurt has been ordered to change the product's labelling in England and Wales after a judge ruled it was misleading shoppers," The Telegraph (28 March 2013).
  22. ^ Julia Glotz "Fage scores victory against Chobani in Greek yoghurt case," The Grocer (28 March 2013).

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