Everyone loves Chobani

One can see consumers’ affinity for Chobani in the 600,000 likes on Facebook and the 47,000 Twitter followers. The company participates in Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare and other channels.

“Our team engages with each and every Chobani fan to become a ‘friend,’” O’Brien said. “Through our social media channels, we respond instantaneously to dissatisfied customers, to make it right and build brand loyalty. And we’re constantly producing quality content to share with our fans, so it’s always a two-way dialogue.”

Business surveys and magazines have honored the dairy processor for its business practices and for its yogurt. The list of honors includes:

• The Harris Poll EquiTrend (EQ) Study rated Chobani as the top yogurt brand in the United States. “Those who are familiar with Chobani rate it at the top for product quality and purchase consideration,” according to the EQ study, leading Chobani to be named the “Brand of the Year” in the yogurt category.

• Chobani was named one of Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2012.

• The U.S. Small Business Administration, Washington, D.C., award its 2012 Entrepreneurial Success award to Hamdi Ulukaya.

• Ernst & Young named Hamdi Ulukaya its National Entrepreneur of the Year overall and retail and consumer products award winner.

• Among dozens of consumer awards, Women’s Health magazine named Chobani’s 0% Blood Orange yogurt to its 2012 list of “125 Best Packaged Foods for Women”, and Men’s Health magazine named Chobani’s 0% Vanilla yogurt to its list of “125 Best Packaged Foods for Men.”


In the community

Chobani supports a variety of charitable ventures. It gives 10% of its annual profits to charities worldwide through its Shepherd’s Gift Foundation. “Chobani,” meaning “shepherd,” is a symbol of one who gives without expecting anything in return and pays homage to Ulukaya’s mother’s generous spirit. Among the beneficiaries are the American Turkish Society, Chenango Memorial Hospital (Chenango County, N.Y.), the Twin Falls (Idaho) Community Association and Share Hope to End Hunger in Africa.

“Giving back to our community has always been important, especially to Hamdi,” O’Brien said. “In order to grow your company, you have to support and grow the community around you. We’re deeply involved in Chenango County, N.Y., from community/government affairs to building little league fields for the town, and look forward to getting as equally involved in the Twin Falls, Idaho community.”

In 2011, the Foundation pledged $1 million to the Global Enrichment Foundation to support famine relief efforts in Somalia. According to a press release, the United Nations described the famine in Somalia as the “worst humanitarian disaster” in the world, with an estimated four million Somalis — over half of the country’s population — in need of aid.

The company sells a line of bottled water called Water for Water at the Chobani SoHo store. All of the net profits from each bottle sold are donated to the Shepherd’s Gift Foundation to fund clean drinking water projects. According to a statement, the company said that “water isn’t a privilege; it’s a basic human right.”

This belief in health and wellness also was manifested in an interactive consumer campaign inspired by the company’s “Nothing But Good” philosophy. In 2011, the company deployed a bus that stopped along the East Coast where it distributed samples of the yogurt and raised funds to build playgrounds for children.

In partnership with KaBOOM!, Chobani donated playgrounds to deserving local communities in three cities along the way. KaBOOM! is a national non-profit with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.