Why have consumers gone wild most recently for Greek yogurt? It's the latest novelty, says Balzer. But he also ascribes its success to Ghobani's shrewd marketing and good timing. "They were in the right place at the right time," he says, referring to the fact that Greek yogurt, having less sugar and more protein than its competition, appeals to health-conscious adults. Its relative tartness makes it less popular with kids.
According to the Wall Street Journal, over a third of the yogurt in a typical grocery store now is Greek-style. Other leading brands include Oikos and Fage. When Chobani first entered the market in 2007, Greek yogurt accounted for only 1 percent of yogurt overall, according to a Chobani spokesman. That share since has grown to 35 percent, with Chobani the dominant player.
The Greek advance, according to the Journal, literally has pushed sugary, old-style yogurts off the shelf. Likewise it has forced the relocation of other products usually shelved near yogurt--pudding cups, margarine and refrigerated dough, for example.