- Whole Foods says it will stop selling Chobani yogurts in its stores, saying the brand refused to meet the retailer's request that it use non-GMO ingredients.
- Chobani, the top-selling Greek yogurt brand, has faced criticism for using dairy products from cows fed with GMO feed.
- The move comes at an awful time for Chobani. The company took a nasty public-relations blow earlier this year when it was forced to recall 91 varieties of yogurt for mold after social media filled with complaints about nasty tastes and bloated and exploding containers.
Poor Chobani! We have tremendous admiration for what the company has accomplished in such a brief period of time. It seems like only yesterday no on even knew what Greek yogurt was. Heck, not even the Greeks knew! But Chobani managed to build such extraordinary demand for its approach that the rest of the yogurt industry was forced to follow suit, launching Greek blends of their own.
Then the mold problem hit. And Chobani's initital reactions to the problem proved inadequate. Afterward, Chobani released a new ad campaign, but it seems that the crowd had already turned on the company. Soon the complaints were about the use of GMO feed. And those complaints apparently reached a level where Whole Foods decided it needed to take action.
Now we don't want to get too dramatic ... well, actually we do. Our sense is that this is a crucial moment for Chobani. It's enemies are circling. The once mighty competitor is wounded; its allies are deserting, just as the final offensive in a long war is about to begin. And here in America, when giants wage war for the hearts of consumers, they do so on the largest field of battle in the marketing world: the Super Bowl. Chobani already announced plans to advertise during the game. Now those ads have taken on new, large-scale significance.