"Teaming up with PepsiCo accelerates Chobani’s mission, helping us reach more corners of the country and giving our fans new ways to buy our simply-crafted and wholesome products," said CEO Hamdi Ulukaya in an emailed statement to FoodNavigator-USA and other media outlets on the news, which was first reported by Bloomberg.
The pair have not provided further details of the pilot - which does not replace existing distribution, but adds to Chobani's footprint - but FoodNavigator-USA understands that it could provide a template for a broader collaboration to support Chobani's mission to make nutritious foods more accessible.
While Chobani has broad distribution in the US that reaches well beyond food, drug and mass, PepsiCo's chilled direct to store network, which it has been steadily building up in recent years, has broader reach in some areas, coupled with strong support going into stores.
Chobani - which looked at selling a minority stake in the business in 2015, with PepsiCo among the suitors – recently confirmed reports that it is considering going public this year.
The company, credited with driving the Greek yogurt boom in the US, has recently moved into several new categories with the launch of ready to drink cold brew products, probiotic yogurts, shakes, and fermented beverages; the protein- and fiber-packed Chobani Complete range; and a line of oatmilks and dairy creamers.
However, its core yogurt portfolio is also performing well, buoyed in part by a resurgence of growth in the yogurt category, which has been amplified by COVID-19 (as more food consumption has shifted towards the home) but was evident well before the pandemic hit, stressed president Peter McGuinness in a recent interview.