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State and Nation Business

Chobani to expand beyond top-selling Greek yogurt

NEW YORK – Chobani plans to expand beyond its Greek yogurt cups this summer as it faces intensifying competition in the fast growing category.

Starting in July, the company plans to offer Chobani Oats, which is yogurt mixed with fruit and oats; a dessert called Chobani Indulgent and new flavors for kids.

Later this year, the Norwich, N.Y.-based company will also introduce savory dips, Chief Marketing Officer Peter McGuinness said in a phone interview. Chobani has been testing such offerings at its cafe in New York City's SoHo neighborhood.

The privately held company has grown quickly over the last several years, riding the surge in popularity of Greek yogurt, and is the biggest seller of Greek yogurt in the U.S. But competition has been increasing, with General Mills and Danone investing more heavily in their Greek yogurt brands. Whole Foods recently decided to stop carrying Chobani to make room for other Greek yogurt alternatives.

McGuinness said Chobani Oats will be company's first product specifically designed to compete in the breakfast category. He said it will be positioned to compete with "bars, cereal and oatmeal" rather than other yogurts. Although the oats will be mixed into the yogurt, he said they will be "al dente" and not "mushy." The cups will cost slightly more than its core yogurt cups at between $1.20 and $1.50.

As for the company's plans to raise capital to fund its expansion, he said executives are "still in discussions."

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