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Chobani generates explosive growth in Australia, unveils aggressive expansion plans in Asia, Latin America

By Elaine WATSON , 16-Apr-2014
Last updated on 16-Apr-2014 at 17:46 GMT

'Asia and Latin America have untold possibility for Chobani'
'Asia and Latin America have untold possibility for Chobani'

Chobani has increased its Australian production from 25,000 cases a week to 25,000 cases a day in the past year, becoming the second best-selling yogurt brand in the nation’s top supermarket chain Woolworths, and announced ambitious expansion plans in Asia and Latin America.

While not all of Chobani’s forays into overseas markets have been an unqualified success (it has hit some roadblocks in Canada and the UK ), sales in Australia have exploded since Chobani opened a $30m factory in South Victoria 16 months ago, and it has just shipped its first palette to Asia from the Australian plant.

The New York-based Greek yogurt maker is also understood to be looking to raise capital, in part to fund its international ambitions, although it has not commented publicly on its plans.

Singapore has a growing contingency of modern, health conscious locals

As of today, following an agreement with distributor Frosts Foods, Australian-made Chobani is available at one of the biggest grocery retailers in Singapore, Cold Storage, with many more to follow including NTUC Fairprice, said Chobani Australia MD Peter Meek.

“Frosts Foods was one of many qualified organizations that pursued us for distribution rights in Singapore and other markets. For a brand that is as much about passion and entrepreneurialism as it is about quality and wholesome ingredients, finding the right partner was paramount.”

Under the deal, Frosts Foods will take nine Chobani SKUs to its network of retailers including single-serve cups of plain, blood orange, blueberry, honey, mango, raspberry, passion fruit and strawberry, as well as multi-serve containers of plain yogurt, said Meek.

“Singapore has a growing contingency of modern, health conscious locals that currently have two options when it comes to yogurt. A locally produced yogurt that is powder based, high sugar and low in fruit, or imported yogurt that is fresh milk based but predominantly high in sugar.

“We’re thrilled that Chobani is now available to Singaporeans and look forward to introducing it to other Asian markets in the near future.”

Asia and Latin America have untold possibility for Chobani

The company would not say which other Asian markets it is targeting aside from Singapore and Malaysia.

However, president and COO David Denholm added: “Asia and Latin America have untold possibility for Chobani and our expansion in these regions furthers our business opportunities and builds on our founding mission to provide better food for more people.

“We've had tremendous success in the United States and Australia and well be using our manufacturing hubs to expand our global presence and reach new fans.”

To Latin America, Chobani will export multiple flavors and formats from its facilities in Idaho and New York, said Denholm. “Chobani has been available in Panama for the last few weeks and will soon be available throughout the Caribbean.”

The company has declined to comment on media reports suggesting it is looking to raise capital, but sources close to the firm told FoodNavigator-USA that options included taking on debt, selling a minority stake (15% or less) or entering a strategic partnership, although moving directly toward an IPO is also on the table.

The firm, which is closely held by founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya and has so far raised capital via bank loans, plans to launch 10 new products in June. 

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