Chobani Branches into the World of Coffee

Well-known and highly regarded yogurt company Chobani is expanding its reach into the world of coffee.

Chobani is now launching a new line of refrigerated ready-to-drink coffees. The new product comes in four different flavors: a black cold brew option; cold brew with oat milk; cold brew with sweet creamer; and another with vanilla creamer. The coffee in Chobani’s new products is made with 100% Arabica beans.

Chobani sought to expand its reputation out of solely the yogurt realm and into the coffee in 2019 when the company branched out into oat milk and coffee creamers. Now with the launch of its coffees, the company is taking another step to diversify its brand.

“We were starting with the creamer products, and it’s gone so well that we said let’s continue on our path, and this was the next, natural step for us,” Chobani chief innovation officer Niel Sandfort said in an interview.

The new ready-to-drink coffees come in 32-ounce packages and will be sold at retailers including ShopRite, HyVee, and Publix. The company is suggesting a retail price of $4.49 per carton.

“Chobani’s kind of business model, at its core, in terms of food development, is owning the manufacturing so our costs are reasonable, and therefore we can deliver these high-quality ingredients but not be as expensive as you think,” Sandfort said.

The move into coffee may prove prescient for Chobani as the industry has recently seen massive surges. According to Nielsen data, the ready-to-drink coffee category has seen retail sales surge 17% to $1.6 billion in the 52 weeks that ended Oct. 31. According to global market research firm Mintel’s estimate, the U.S. market for ready-to-drink coffee is expected to hit about $4 billion in 2020, an increase of 7.6% from the previous year.

Keurig Dr Pepper is among the top beneficiaries of the trend towards ready-to-drink. The company’s coffee systems’ net sales rose 3% to $1.1 billion in its third quarter.

Chobani’s success until this point does not mean the company will not meet fierce competition. Well-known brands such as Starbucks sells ready-to-drink iced coffee, cold brew, Frappuccinos, and espresso drinks, and Dunkin’ sells its ready-to-drink iced coffee as well. Also in the market are smaller brands, like the popular La Colombe, which has its own coffee products.

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