A Greek style yogurt has acquired a significant share of the U.S. market. The yogurt which is thicker , creamier and healthier than normal yogurt has a 10% share of the U.S. market which is estimated to exceed 5.5 billion dollars. This figure has double digit increases every year. The percentage of Greek yogurt by consumers has risen by 60% over the last decade. The shift that Americans have taken in their diets, regarding fatty foods to foods of high nutritional value, have created a very favorable climate for this product in the U.S. UBS Analyst David Palmer says that Greek style yogurt is so popular because of this change in eating habits and many Americans are now eating yogurt for breakfast instead of cereal.
Last year’s sales rose by 7.8% and the future of these sales seems even more promising. It is noted that the U.S. consumes about 11 kg of yogurt per person per year. Other markets such as France, consume seven times as much.
The Greek food company FAGE has factories in the U.S. since 1990. However the Turkish company Chobani leads the way regarding yogurt in the U.S. Chobani is owned by 38- year- old Turkish businessman Hamdi Ulukaya (photo).
According to a report in BusinessWeek magazine, Ulukaya’s company is the latest entry in the yogurt market and was established in 2005 when he bought a dairy plant near New York. It is a unit of Kraft Foods and the company would sell the yogurt as long as it could keep its original focus on the development of other consumer goods, such as OREO cookies. Last year, the Chobani company tripled its sales reaching the $196 million dollar mark. The company’s products are currently sold in many of the largest retail chains in the U.S. such as Kroger, Whole Foods and Target. Hamdi Ulukaya says that he has had many offers for his company, however he is not looking to sell it.