After an embarrassing recall this past September due to mold issues causing their yogurt containers to “bloat”, Chobani takes another blow as Whole Foods Market Inc. has decided to discontinue their sale of Chobani yogurt products as early as January, 2014.
Greek Yogurt popularity his grown tremendously in over recent years, making up nearly half of all yogurt sales in the U.S. Chobani dominates these sales, but there are many other competing brands who hope to gain in market share using the GMO-free and Organic business model.
Chobani, who says it is committed to giving it’s customers all-natural ingredients, does source it’s milk from cows who are fed a genetically modified feed. On Wednesday, the company addressed the unfolding debacle between them and Whole Foods by writing:
“As America’s No.-1 selling Greek Yogurt brand, we require a high volume of milk, and right now there is not enough organic milk available to meet our broad consumer demand.
We continue to stand by and work with the 875 farms that provide us with milk as they explore new feed options. In the meantime, we’re doing everything we can with what’s available to make the best cup of yogurt; using only natural ingredients and no preservatives, none of our non-dairy ingredients has been genetically modified, and our milk comes from cows that have not been treated with rBST.”
Whole Foods says that’s not enough. Their decision to drop Chobani is a part of it’s effort to discontinue the sale of any genetically modified foods, over the next couple of years, that are not properly labeled as containing GMOs.
Some are skeptical that Whole Food’s intentions were selfish, accusing the health food superstore that they are only removing the #1 Greek yogurt brand from their shelves in order to raise the sales of their own brand’s greek yogurt, “365″. Whole Foods has neither confirmed or denied the accusation, but their motives aside, it’s an exciting time for advocates of GMO labeling, as Whole Foods leads the movement of GMO labeling with their “Right To Know” commitment, in which they promise to label all products carried in their store containing GMOs.
What are your thoughts? Are you happy with this move on Whole Foods Markets’ part?