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Chobani plugs its natural credentials in Superbowl ad featuring ‘discerning bear’

By Elaine WATSON , 28-Jan-2014
Last updated the 29-Jan-2014 at 16:24 GMT

Chobani: 'While bears are known to eat everything, this bear - much to his chagrin - discovers that real, natural food choices are hard to find these days – particularly in the yogurt aisle.'
Chobani: 'While bears are known to eat everything, this bear - much to his chagrin - discovers that real, natural food choices are hard to find these days – particularly in the yogurt aisle.'

Chobani’s inaugural Super Bowl ad  is designed to set it apart from rivals by homing in on its ‘natural’ credentials.

While most Greek yogurt manufacturers focus on the simple, healthy, ingredients in their products, Chobani has recently upped the ante by highlighting the fact that its new 100-calorie Simply 100 range contains only natural sweeteners (monk fruit and stevia), whereas rival Yoplait Greek 100 contains the 'artificial' sweetener sucralose.

Chobani also features the strap-line 'only natural ingredients' on its packaging, while some other CPG firms have started to drop similar claims in the wake of legal threats.

Chobani is the best Greek yogurt choice

The Superbowl ad - airing in the third quarter of this Sunday’s game - takes “a humorous look at what happens when Mother Nature, represented by a discerning bear that comes out of hibernation and is unleashed in a local supermarket,” it added.

“While bears are known to eat everything, this bear - much to his chagrin - discovers that real, natural food choices are hard to find these days – particularly in the yogurt aisle.”

The ad is part of Chobani’s new ‘How Matters’ platform, which focuses on its commitment to using “only natural ingredients", added the  New York-based firm, which has retained its number one spot in Greek yogurt “despite being historically outspent in marketing.

“By celebrating how Chobani makes a cup of yogurt and appealing to consumers regularly faced with artificial, unpronounceable ingredients, the platform invites people to discover why Chobani is the best Greek yogurt choice.”

Greek yogurt accounted for 44% of US yogurt sales in 2013 vs 4% in 2008

The Greek yogurt category - which is driving most of the growth in the $7bn+ US yogurt market - remains a hotbed of activity, as consumers buy into its low-fat credentials, high protein content and thicker texture.

Indeed, Greek now accounts for 44% of dollar sales in the yogurt category compared with just 4% in 2008, and all the key players in the segment have been expanding and refreshing their portfolios in the past 12 months.

Chobani has launched new Bite flavors, flip ‘corner’ style yogurts and its new Simply 100 range; while Yoplait has launched several new products including Yoplait Pro-Force and Go-Gurt Protein, along with its new blended Greek range.

Meanwhile, Dannon’s Oikos Greek yogurt range - sales of which topped $400m in 2012 - is "still growing in the double digits", Michael Neuwirth, senior director of public relations, told FoodNavigator-USA earlier this month.

Click here to read about the Dannon Superbowl ad at our sister site DairyReporter.

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