Greek yoghurt giant Chobani has reintroduced its ‘strained’ yoghurt in the UK after a court ruled that it was misleading consumers by calling its US-produced yoghurt ‘Greek’.
The company has been granted an appeal, due in September, and sticks to its position that “the term ‘Greek yoghurt’ describes yoghurt that has been crafted using a straining process. It is this straining process, not a country of origin, that removes the excess liquid from the yoghurt making it deliciously thick and creamy.”
In March’s court decision , Justice Briggs concluded that a substantial portion of UK consumers who bought Greek yoghurt thought that it was produced in Greece, meaning that it “plainly involves a material misrepresentation”. He therefore granted a permanent injunction prohibiting Chobani from selling its yoghurt as ‘Greek’ in England and Wales.
Chobani has taken the opportunity to revamp its packaging and to introduce two new flavours – apple cinnamon and blueberry – while also changing the on-pack wording from ‘Greek yoghurt’ to ‘strained yoghurt’.
“We decided to create a new design for the pots specifically tailored to UK consumers,” said Chobani’s UK communications and marketing manager Christine Fung. “The UK yoghurt market is one of the most sophisticated in the world and we want Chobani to stand out on UK supermarket shelves. We also believe the new, sleeker packaging design better represents the high quality product contained inside.”
The court case was brought by Greek yoghurt manufacturer Fage, which has been selling Greek yoghurt (from Greece) in the UK for the past 30 years.
In February, Danone was also handed a court injunction prohibiting it from calling its Danio-brand low fat, strained yoghurt ‘Greek’.