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The war for yogurt

30 August 2014 / 14:08:26  GRReporter
2348 reads

"The summer of 2014 will undoubtedly be crucial for the Filippou family," French newspaper Le Figaro writes in an article about the Greek yogurt. In a report from Athens the newspaper talks about this year's major counterattack of the Greek yogurt in the European market as a result of which it managed to take the place of the big Turkish company Chobani on the shelves of British supermarkets. According to the newspaper, the largest Greek FAGE brand is at the forefront of the attack.

It was precisely FAGE that won the biggest victory against the Turkish company, a judicial victory, as, in late July, the British court prohibited Chobani from writing "Greek yogurt" on its packaging. "The court rendered justice. If a yogurt is not made in Greece from a Greek recipe, it is not Greek. Competitors from other countries write on their packaging "Greek-style yogurt." This is absolutely legal but the recipe is not Greek again," lawyer Petros Mahas told Le Figaro.

The Chobani phenomenon

The war broke out in the United States in 2007 when Turkish immigrant Hamdi Ulukaya entered the American market with packages reading, "high-protein Greek yogurt." The product quickly gained customers and within 10 years, Ulukaya became a billionaire and he was much sought after by all media. He talked about health before magazines and even in cooking TV shows. And of course, in advertisements of various products.

"The Greeks from FAGE, angry about what was happening in the United States, decided to defend Europe," writes Le Figaro. In 2013 they attacked Chobani in the UK and won, achieving the deletion of the explanation "Greek yogurt" from the products of the Turkish company. Now the Greek company is starting a legal battle in the United States and in other European countries.

The money is a lot

First is the protection of consumers, but the money is a lot too. This is because the yogurt has been recently in vogue in the international market. In particular, the Greek yogurt or the "Greek-style yogurt" holds a 49% share of the total market in the United States, according to the American Institute Bernstein. This is a product with an annual turnover of 1.98 billion euro in 2013 in the US alone, the turnover in 2007 being just 34.5 million euro and a market that grew by 50% from 2007 to 2014 and that was dominated namely by Chobani company.

However, even without the United States, the increase in yogurt sales is immense due to various medical studies that confirm the health benefits of the product. In the UK the sales of Greek and "Greek-style yogurt", whether it is a product of Greek companies or Chobani, increased by 10.7% on an annual basis, amounting to 265.4 million euro in 2013.

The most significant increase was reported in Italy, where the turnover amounted to 178 million euro last year. In France, the Greek yogurt holds only 3% of the market because the French company Danone and the Swiss Nestle operate there. Both companies have successfully entered the "Greek-style yogurt" category. The 37.2% increase in the market of Greek yogurt in Germany last year was impressive too and attributed to the establishment of a subsidiary of FAGE in the country. These days the Greek company opened a subsidiary in New York too. According to estimates, this will allow the production of yogurt to increase from 85,000 to 160,000 tons.

Tags: ChobaniFAGEYogurtCourd decision
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