Chobani LLC, a leading manufacturer of Greek yogurt, has announced a major expansion to its manufacturing facility in Twin Falls, Ida., which will be used to drive continued growth in the region, the state and the community and expand production capability to meet demand for new and existing products.
As the yogurt category and overall consumption continue to grow, Chobani is self-funding major expansion initiatives, including:
• The purchase and conversion of three production lines for Chobani "Flip" products -- its fastest-growing yogurt platform;
• The purchase of a new production line and a new bulk production line for foodservice opportunities to drive further growth in schools, hotels, airlines and restaurants;
• The purchase of new equipment for new adjacent categories like Chobani Meze Dips and yogurt drinks, and
• The launch of products to new international markets, including Mexico and Puerto Rico in the second quarter of 2016, furthering its mission to make better food for more people.
"Building the largest yogurt manufacturing plant in the world and expanding it three years later is a really proud moment for us and an example of how right it was to pick Idaho as our second home," said Hamdi Ulukaya, chairman and chief executive officer of Chobani. "Our success in Idaho and New York is an example of the power and strength of U.S. manufacturing. To food companies like ours, it's a signal of the momentum of the food movement that we started: better food for more people."
Chobani commissioned its second domestic manufacturing facility in 2013 in Twin Falls, making it the largest yogurt manufacturing facility in the world. The company had previously invested more than $450 million to build the 1 million sq. ft., world-class operation. The initial construction was completed in an unprecedented 326 days, with more than 2,000 people putting in more than 1.7 million man-hours to build the state-of-the-art facility from the ground up.
Chobani's presence in Idaho has served as a catalyst for new jobs and continues to have a significant positive economic impact in the region. Since its arrival, unemployment has reached record-low levels, and major businesses from across the country have moved to the region.
In addition to expansion plans in Twin Falls, the company said it is also exploring plans to expand its original plant in central New York.
Chobani works closely with its communities in Twin Falls and central New York to support local initiatives. In its three years in Idaho, Chobani has initiated a job training program in conjunction with the College of Southern Idaho. The Chobani Foundation, the company's charitable arm, also has supported several projects, including the Twin Falls Downtown Renaissance Project, Special Olympics Idaho, the Canyon Rim Classic Soccer Tournament, numerous hunger relief agencies and veterans service organizations.
Chobani's market share of the overall yogurt category is 19.3%, which is the highest share in Chobani's history and translates to a 36.1% share of Greek yogurt overall. Top-line sales growth is up 25% versus a year ago. The company currently receives up to 4 million lb. of fresh milk from local farms in New York and Idaho every day and employs more than 2,000 people.
On the heels of the success of its "Flip" product, Chobani recently announced its expansion and investment beyond the yogurt aisle with two new products that build on the Mediterranean tradition of shared spreads: Chobani Meze Dips and the Drink Chobani portable protein beverage. The products are true to Chobani's food philosophy of using only natural, non-genetically modified ingredients with no artificial preservatives.