Why Chobani Is One Of The Most Innovative Companies Of 2017

The yogurt maker is stirring it up in the grocery store.

Why Chobani Is One Of The Most Innovative Companies Of 2017
Chobani CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya [Photo: Jason Alden, Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Greek yogurt giant Chobani may sell a smooth product, but it isn’t afraid to play rough. Last year, it poked its rivals General Mills and Dannon with an ad campaign suggesting their yogurts contain unappetizing additives. And its Mezé Dips serve as a direct counter to PepsiCo’s Sabra hummus brand (the soda giant tried to buy a major stake in Chobani early last year).

Chobani’s aggressiveness extends to its product development: The company has been expanding to win a greater share in the overall yogurt category, where it generates more than $1.5 billion in revenue annually. In 2016, it launched a new line of yogurt drinks, more variations on its Flip mix-in product, additional yogurt flavors, and a concept café inside a Target in Manhattan.

The drizzle of honey on top came last spring when CEO Hamdi Ulukaya rewarded his employees with hundreds of millions in shares. “One thing I always say is, ‘I don’t want more, I just want to do more,’” he says of his strategy for investing in others. “Whatever I see in the world that discourages me, I answer with Chobani.”

This article is part of our coverage of the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2017.