Monday, June 28, 2010

Greek style thick yogurts from at least 6 companies were there, three brands come to mind that are now widely distributed, Fage, Stoneyfield & Chobani. Trying to not spend the entire day eating chocolate (I am weak) I stopped to sample a cup of strawberry Chobani. At a nearby table I stand stirring the daylights out of the yogurt when a man wearing a company shirt instructs me that this style yogurt is not to be stirred like that. Did you know that? He went on to tell me this brand spends great deal of time extracting the water from the yogurt during the thickening process, no stabilizers or additives are used and stirring will diminish the richness Greek style yogurt is known . Now a convert, I asked this man what he does for the company, shyly he informs me he’s the CEO. Mr. Hamdi Ulukaya goes onto tell me that this was his family’s recipe back in Turkey and he has now brought this to our tables. This September Chobani is rolling out a children’s product, Champions, developed for their tastes in portion sizes ideal for them, based on the CEO’s commitment to teaching me how to eat his yogurt properly, a small consumer at best, I’m thinking this is going to be good for kids.

Everything is going gluten free and while I’m not sure how I feel about this enormous shift because less than 8% of our population has sensitivities, this is undoubtedly a large emerging market. Stubb’s Barbeque Sauces (highly recommended and widely available in super markets, Fairway and specialty stores) is changing their entire line of sauces to accommodate this market so maybe it’s time for me to re-evaluate my stance.

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