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Why Big Brands Couldn’t Stop Chobani From Winning the Yogurt War

  • Greek yogurt passed General Mills’ top brand in popularity
  • Big food companies’ products can lack ‘culinary distinction’
Yoplait USA Inc. brand greek yogurt sits on a shelf above Chobani Inc. greek yogurt at a supermarket in Princeton, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, June 4, 2013. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations will release its monthly food price index on June 6. The index, a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities, consists of the average of five commodity group price indices including meat, dairy, grains, oil and sugar.
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Yoplait is suffering through a Greek crisis.

Chobani, which popularized Greek yogurt in America, overtook General Mills Inc.’s Yoplait last year to become the country’s biggest yogurt brand. That a 12-year-old upstart could overtake a powerhouse in so short a time illustrates how shifting consumer trends are catching the established food giants flat-footed. They’ve become, their critics say, too complacent about perennial product lines and too plodding to react with innovative, moneymaking products of their own.