Whole Foods Will No Longer Sell Chobani
Whole Foods has decided to phase out its stock of Chobani Greek Yogurt in 2014, ending its relationship with the company. The health food grocery chain plans on making the space available to other products and companies. The new items will be from more exclusive or hard-to-find brands. Chobani brings in more than $1 billion a year, giving the company a status of being a huge producer.
Whole Foods said that part of the reason they will no longer sell Chobani yogurt is because the cows that produce the milk are fed genetically modified organisms (GMOs) such as corn and soy beans. The grocery store will require all of their manufacturers to label products that contain GMOs by 2018. They will still carry these foods, they just have to be made known to consumers.
“We are always evolving our product mix to make sure we are meeting our shoppers’ needs, and in this case with Greek-style yogurt we are making room for more organic and non-GMO [options],” Robin Kelly, a spokeswoman for Whole Foods, told The New York Times.
Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya argued that feeding his cows organic products is harder than it looks because 90 percent of corps used in animal feed are GMOs. Other dairy giants, such as Stonyfield and Organic Valley – who focus on providing organic options – have a hard time getting their feed.
“The farmers need to be able to find those feeds and feed it to their cows – and the economics around it need to make sense for them,” Ulukaya told the Times. “Now these feeds are just not available.”
According to Food Business, Chobani does not use cows that have been treated with growth hormones, nor do they include artificial sweeteners in their products. Despite Whole Foods breaking the partnership, Chobani remains the No. 1 Greek yogurt company with its food in grocery stores across the country. Students earning an online culinary certificate and the average consumer alike are familiar with the brand.