In recent months, Chobani tuned up its public relations operations, bringing on board new chief marketing and brand officer Peter McGuinness.
McGuinness, who did not return a message seeking comment for this story, acknowledged in a recent interview with the trade publication Adweek that Chobani’s rivals were taking aim at the company by “Greekwashing their portfolios.”
“Greek is now 50 percent of the market and we think it will go to 75 percent,” he said. “Yogurt consumption will double. So the yogurt wars have officially begun.”
Chobani, which boasts about $1 billion in sales annually, remains the largest producer of Greek-style yogurt in the United States.
Last month, the company parted ways with Nikki Briggs, its chief communications officer since 2009, according to PR Week. McGuinness told the publication then that Chobani was planning for what will “probably be our biggest marketing push thus far in the company’s history.”
This month, the company announced that it will place its first commercial during the nation’s biggest televised sports event — the Super Bowl. The spot is expected to cost upward of $4 million.
In late August and in early September, the company experienced one of its biggest public relations problems to date following complaints of moldy yogurt from its Idaho plant.
Federal officials recently told The Daily Star that there were no incidents of the moldy product associated with the Columbus plant.