This year, The Dannon Co., White Plains, N.Y., is celebrating its 75th anniversary. To say that the company has accomplished a lot for the U.S. yogurt category in its seven-plus decades of existence would be a massive understatement.
Across food categories, consumers have made their demands clear — they want clean labels, more organic options and flavor variety. And manufacturers of cultured dairy have been answering this call. A diverse range of yogurts, cottage cheese and cream cheese products has hit the market in the last year, shining a light on this category’s versatility.
The Greek yogurt company has created the largest yogurt making facility in the world in Twin Falls, Idaho. Its presence there has created other food-related jobs and has left a positive mark on its community.
In 2016, to accommodate its growth, Norwich, N.Y.-based Chobani invested $100 million to complete a 300,000-square-foot expansion to its manufacturing facility in Twin Falls, Idaho. Now totally 1,000,000 square feet, the plant (which opened in 2013) is said to be the largest yogurt manufacturing facility in the world.
While yogurt is certainly still having its day, other cultured dairy products are seeing renewed interest. Consumers’ desires for variety in flavor and texture, clean ingredients and nutrient-dense snacks (like more protein or probiotics) are shining a spotlight on yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese and sour cream-based dips.
Rob Graves is a dairy farmer and dairy processor who owns Morning Fresh Dairy in Bellvue, Colo. He sells his white and flavored milks up and down the front range of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Business was good for the fourth-generation farmer. Demand was growing from home delivery customers, restaurants and Whole Foods. Graves had plans to expand the milk processing plant. That is, until yogurt got in the way.
Based in Colorado but with roots in Australia, noosa yoghurt has disrupted dairy aisles throughout the United States. Innovative flavors and see-through packaging help the product stand out on grocers’ shelves.
A European yogurt maker saw potential in the United States and a U.S. food and beverage company wanted to be in the dairy business. When Theo Müller hitched itself to PepsiCo’s distribution juggernaut, the Muller Quaker Dairy brand became an overnight sensation.