Chobani Puts Lid on 'Nature…Not Scientists' Campaign
Chobani has pulled a slogan from some of its Greek yogurt lids that fueled a food fight on social media.
The company's "Simply 100? yogurt, which contains 100 calories, had lids that read, "Nature got us to 100 calories, not scientists. #howmatters."
While the company was trying to draw attention to their natural ingredients, the slogan ended up doing the opposite. Scientists, yogurt lovers, and especially yogurt-loving scientists used the company's own Twitter tag, #howmatters, to point out just how much "science" was used to engineer the yogurt.
David Grinspoon, astrobiologist and former curator of Astrobiology in the Department of Space Sciences at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in Colorado, said the tagline made him rethink buying another Chobani.
- David Grinspoon (@DrFunkySpoon) June 3, 2014
Other Twitter users pointed out that some ingredients, such as pasteurized milk and evaporated cane juice, not to mention the plastic yogurt cup, were developed by scientists.
Chobani's #howmatters tag became overrun with mentions of the yogurt ingredient list and the many ways scientists have contributed to agriculture and food sciences, prompting a discontinuation of the lids.
In a statement sent to ABC News, Chobani said the lids had been discontinued and that they hope to make peace with all the yogurt-loving scientists they offended.
"We were being tongue in cheek and perhaps a bit too clever for our own good," the statement read. "The under lid messaging campaign ended last week and was not intended as an indictment of science or scientists. Words matter and your feedback counts."
The company said they would also send a free yogurt to any scientist who contacts them via their website.
The viral war of words is not the first time Chobani has faced controversy. Whole Foods decided to phase out the yogurt this year, initially sparking rumors that it was because the company uses milk from cows that eat genetically-modified food. Whole Foods later stated that it was a business decision unrelated to the use of GM food. And last year the company issued a voluntary recall of some yogurt after mold was found at an Idaho plant.
[Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story stated that Whole Foods decided to phase out Chobani because the company uses milk from cows that eat genetically-modified food. However, according to a statement Whole Foods issued in response to a news report about its decision, the company said it was a business decision related to the competitive marketplace in Greek yogurts.]