How Chobani Became One of the Top Three Selling Yogurts in America: SUPERENTREPRENEUR

Chobani is now one of the top three most popular yogurts in the United States.   While Dannon used to dominate, it’s now at 25.5%, with Yoplait at 26.5% and Chobani rising at 15.7%.  Chobani leads in the Greek yogurt subcategory.  It arrived on store shelves only five years ago.

Check out this Wall Street Journal interview with entrepreneur Hamdi Ulukaya.  He’s crazy and a great businessman.  Check out his “business plan” paving his way to success:

  1. Paint wall.
  2. Turn off electricity.
  3. Learn for the first time about yogurts.
  4. Create recipe that isn’t boring.
  5. Listen to people, his customers.
  6. Eliminate nonexistent marketing budget.
  7. Viral it out.
  8. Grow to 15.7% marketshare and make Chobani one of the top 3-selling yogurts in America.

A great, simple, but hardworking entrepreneur achieves his deserved success.  Be creative, take things step by step. Have a simple idea, and do it better.  You can be a SuperEntrepreneur like Hamdi Ulukaya, in whatever you do.

Read on for an excerpt from The Wall Street Journal:

“The Wall Street Journal: Snap Decision Spawns a Yogurt Craze”

WSJ: What did you do first?

Mr. Ulukaya: I hired five people who had worked at the plant and the first thing I said was that we were going to paint the walls, because the paint was horrible and I had no other ideas. And I said turn the lights off because I had looked at the electricity bill. Then I started doing some homework on specialty yogurts.

WSJ: What was your strategy for getting into major retail stores?

Mr. Ulukaya: We came from the angle that this is a boring category that we will change, and wherever we went we had people sample the product.

WSJ: How did you market Chobani initially?

Mr. Ulukaya: I didn’t have a budget to spend on traditional marketing. I used to answer the phones and I would hear people say ‘I love this yogurt. I’m going to tell my friends and family about it.’ That gave me the idea to reach out to bloggers, and to use Facebook and Twitter to have direct communication with consumers. We also had our own sampling truck that went all over the country to festivals and parades.

Hamdi Ulukaya is an immigrant to America.  Born in Turkey, he came to the United States in 1997 to study.  He saw a lack of quality products in the American dairy industry, and went on to found two companies to fill this gap.  Euphrates Inc. makes feta cheese, while Chobani makes Greek-style yogurt.  The name of his yogurt, which means “shepherd” in Turkish and Greek, honors the traditional origins of the yogurt, as well as Ulukaya’s family history of sheep herding in Turkey.

Chobani is a Greek-style yogurt produced by Chobani Inc., which has brought Greek yogurt into popularity.  Greek-style yogurts have roots in the ancient world, and are made by straining yogurt, producing a thicker, richer texture.  Chobani Inc. was founded in 2005, and yogurt first arrived on store shelves in 2007.  In 2012, the company became an official sponsor of the Olympic Games.

Read the full article in The Wall Street Journal.

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