Greek yogurt lovers in Canada can't find Chobani on grocery store shelves anymore. As of a few weeks ago, the product no longer was available in Canada, Chobani Communications Manager Lindsay Kos said. “Due to circumstances outside of our control, we are unable to move forward with our national launch plans at this time,” she said. “We're working closely with the Canadian government to figure out a solution to be able to bring our products to the Canadian marketplace.”
Chobani, which introduced its product to Canada about a year ago, was operating under an import permit, but Kos would not comment on the specifics.
She also said she could not comment on why Chobani stopped sales in Canada.
Officials from the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, which deals with international businesses opening in the country, would not comment on the Chobani situation nor the specifics of the permit the company was given.
Chobani - a sponsor of the 2012 Olympics - was available in Loblaws grocery stores in the greater Toronto area.
Despite the setback, Kos said Chobani is committed to bringing its product to the Canadian citizens.
“It certainly is disheartening for us,” she said. “We decided to go there because fans really wanted us to.”
The yogurt brand was launched in 2007 by Hamdi Ulukaya, and quickly made its way to the top of the yogurt world. In 2010, sales reached about $250 million.
Chobani became the No. 1 selling brand in the United States in 2011, according to SymphonyIRI Group, a Chicago-based market research firm.
The brand now has more than 20 percent of the total yogurt market in the country. Chobani officials have said.
The company recently opened a second production facility in Twin Falls, Idaho, and continues to expand its New Berlin plant.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced plans to launch a pilot program to introduce Greek yogurt as an item on the USDA's Foods List, which could mean bigger business for Chobani as well as competitor New York-based yogurt company Fage.(By Amanda Fries - http://www.uticaod.com)
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