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Chobani Oats

The dairy-plus-grains new product frenzy that will define the next year

“Chobani is boldly going where no major dairy has dared to go before. And now everyone else will have to go there, too.” This is the assertion of analysts, New Nutrition Business, following news that Chobani, the US Greek yoghurt phenomenon is expanding its repertoire of products.

Over the next twelve months every dairy company (and many breakfast cereal companies) will either launch or think about launching a single-serve product that combines oats (or another grain) with dairy (usually yoghurt), NNB predicts.

“It’s a new product opportunity that New Nutrition Business has been advocating for about four years – most recently just for weeks ago (see our argument in favour of this product type in this blogpost:”, writies NNB director, Julian Mellentin.

So far most companies have held back, leaving the field open to small entrepreneurial start-ups, some struggling to understand the opportunity, others hoping to see a big success.

Mellentin believes all that will change with the debut a two months from now of an oats-plus-yoghurt single-serve product from Chobani, the world’s biggest Greek yoghurt maker and the company that gave birth to the Greek yoghurt revolution that has transformed the US, redefined the strategy of Danone (which is playing catch-up) and is working its influence on dairy globally.

“Once Chobani does it, everyone will want to do it. In America dairies will throw themselves into a frenzy of me-too activity. In Europe the frenzy will be less intense, but the me-toos will still appear everywhere,” he says.

“In Asia too, it will be an opportunity, although there will be a reluctance to go ahead with the concept – right up to the moment when Chobani or someone else does it first. That’s a pity, because thanks to Quaker there are many markets where oats are well-established – or where there are local grains that could be used instead – and where dairy has a great image.”

This surge won’t stop at oats-plus-yoghurt. It’s possible to have a single-serve pot that combines any grain or seed with any dairy (though he advises that you should make sure the dairy product is high protein to give a pleasing mouthfeel and sense of satisfaction).

“A year from now what seemed like a new idea will be an everyday item,” quips Mellentin.

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