Chobani, a food manufacturer famous for its Greek yogurt, is set to expand from the yogurt aisle to the plant-based dairy alternatives by betting on oat milk as its next flagship product. The company is set to launch an oat-based dairy product that includes not only oat milk but also oat-based yogurt on separate dates. The company will unroll its oat-based yogurts in December of 2019, while the oat milk and creamers will be launched in January 2020. However, this was not the first time that the company has pushed into making plant-based dairy alternatives as it has already started with coconut-based yogurt during the start of 2019.
Plant-Based Dairy Products are Future Growth for Chobani
Chobani is dubbed as the second-largest yogurt maker in the United States. With the new offering of plant-based dairy products, the company is cementing its goal of not becoming your usual yogurt company. Peter McGuinness, Chobani’s president, noted that the company has been making yogurt for 11 years. Still, this new endeavor transcends from yogurt to a bigger market – vegetarians, vegans, and plant-based eaters – that is a captured market that is exponentially growing in the United States.
McGuinness also mentioned that the company is embracing a transparent approach in its products, citing that its new creamers are made with real cream and contains fewer but more relevant and functional ingredients that the consumers can easily understand. Moreover, he also cited big companies such as Nestle and Danone, whose brands include Coffee-Mate and International Delight, respectively, are made with oil and do not contain any dairy at all.
There couldn’t be a better time to introduce the oat-based yogurt. Aside from the yogurt business getting stronger with sales increasing to 9% annually, according to Nielsen, many consumers are now looking for products that are healthier as well as better for the planet. Oatmilk yogurt is the perfect product to launch. Plant-based dairy products such as oat milk and oat yogurt provide an alternative to dairy, especially for people who have a restrictive diet. McGuinness pointed out that the number of plant-based dieters is increasing. Moreover, he also noted that the market for oat milk is set to increase to $50 million in the following year.
Why Oat Milk?
But with so many products that can be turned into plant-based dairy alternatives, Chobani opted for oats because of its better nutritional value, particularly its low-fat value. Growing oats is also more environmentally sustainable than nut trees such as almonds and walnuts. Lastly, it also has a good taste option than plant-based dairy alternatives made from either soy or almond.
But while launching off the non-dairy alternative can be an exciting venture of Chobani, tension may arise, especially when a dairy company expands into a plant-based offering. As such, Chobani released a press release that developing to the non-dairy alternative products will not replace its other conventional products – much to the relief of their long-time customers. What the company wanted is to expand its consumers from flexitarians to vegetarians and vegans. For ethical marketing, Chobani will be calling its products oat drinks and oat blends instead of “milk” and “yogurt” to avoid deceiving the rest of the consumer population.
Inspired by https://www.chobani.com/oat/