First of many
The media release says it all.
Chobani has done something that’s truly disruptive. “We took the sugar out of milk to make the groundbreaking Chobani Zero Sugar* with only natural ingredients.” The asterisk means it’s not a low-calorie food based on FDA regulations. That aside, Chobani Zero Sugar* starts with a milk that’s been filtered to reduce naturally occurring sugar. From there, Chobani uses natural fermentation methods that allow yogurt cultures to consume the remaining sugar. Chobani then adds natural, non-GMO sweeteners like monk fruit and allulose.
Chobani’s gains were made in the late 2000s with its Greek yogurt. Now its yogurt is embracing a trend fueled by Covid: recognising the need for healthier habits, particularly in snacking.
Will yogurt without sugar take off or will suspicion down it? Well, the messaging is spot on for the health conscious consumer. Chobani Zero Sugar* is lactose-free, a source of protein, and contains six live and active cultures including probiotics. According to Peter McGuinness, president and COO of Chobani, “You won’t find another product on shelves nationwide in the U.S. dairy aisle with 11 grams of protein and only natural ingredients, but no sugar or artificial sweeteners.”
The strides made to invigorate the category have to be applauded. Yogurts are looked at carefully by shoppers with concerns about sugar content. Cries of too much sugar, and too many calories is a common refrain so an option that helps people limit their sugar intake is going to command attention.
There’s energy in low-sugar. If you can proudly boast no sugar and your product tastes as expected then it’s a great start. I believe the 60-calorie yogurt cups, which also have tapioca flour and guar gum, have a consistency slightly thinner than Greek yogurt. The product fills a gap in Chobani’s portfolio, however taste is key for this important release.
Niel Sandfort, chief innovation officer at Chobani, said of the more than $1 billion diet and reduced sugar yogurt category: “We have very high hopes that it’s going to not just take share, not just premiumise and trade up the consumer, but bring in new consumers who may have walked away from the yogurt set because of sugar.”
If enough people miss the sugar, the sky is the limit to what Chobani can stir up!
- Rodney Jack, editor, Food & Drink Technology.
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