Greek Yogurt Maker Chobani Launches Oat Yogurt and Milk
Chobani, the largest maker of "Greek Yogurt" in America, just announced they will be coming out with oat milk and oat yogurt in the New Year, and we couldn't be more excited. Other than the fact that they make the tastiest and most beloved yogurt around (which we consumed happily before we went plant-based and vegan) we love the Chobani approach to business.
Founder Hamdi Ulukaya was born in Turkey, is of Kurdish descent and his family ran a farm and made yogurt when he was a boy. After gaining his degree in Ankara he moved tp the US to learn English at the University of Albany, and found an abandoned factory in upstate New York and against all advice, bought it and turned it into a yogurt factory. That was in 2005 and just 11 years later he was number one in the country, named to Fast Company's list of most successful entrepreneurs, and eventually covered by CBS's Sixty Minutes in a moving piece.
The fact that Ulukaya hired locally, helped the struggling economy in that area of the county, and grew to achieve over $1 billion in annual sales in less than five years, impresses anyone who's ever started a company. And the fact that he shared 10 percent of the company with his employees is one reason to admire Ulukaya, along with his belief that paying people more than you have to is the best way to motivate them to care and work hard to support the company that supports them. In May 2015 Ulukaya announced that he will donate a majority of his wealth to help refugees around the world, and started the Hamdi Ulukaya Initiative (HUG Initiative) to train Turkish entrepreneurs who are running existing startups or planning on starting a new venture. HUG has a $500 million budget over five years. We look forward to adding this oat yogurt to our go-to rotation. And plant to use it in smoothies, snacks and whenever we need a little sweet treat.