As Chobani and Fage prepare to square up to each other in court next month, Danone is set to add fresh fuel to the “Greek yoghurt” debate with the launch of a new yoghurt made in Poland but labelled “Greek”.
Danio is a thick, strained yoghurt targeted at premium adult shoppers who want a high-protein alternative snack to crisps or chocolate. It is described on-pack as “Greek yoghurt” as opposed to “Greek Style”.
A spokesman for Danone said the term “Greek yoghurt” referred to a type of yoghurt rather than a country of origin, and Danio packs would be clearly marked as made in Poland.
“Greek yoghurt refers to the way in which the product is produced and does not hold a protected designation of origin status,” he added.
This is precisely the argument Chobani is making as it defends its decision to label its US-made yoghurts “Greek” in a lawsuit brought by Total Greek Yoghurt maker Fage.
After launching as “Greek yoghurt” in Tesco in the autumn, Chobani agreed to temporarily change its packaging in December until the dispute, which is set to go to court next month, was resolved.
Danone said it was monitoring the Fage/Chobani case closely, but insisted “Greek yoghurt” was a product descriptor “a bit like English breakfast tea or English muffins - we want consumers to be clear on what product experience to expect”.
Danio will go into the multiples at the end of this month (rsp: 85p for a 160g pot). The yoghurts come in low and 0% fat versions and six fruit flavours - passionfruit, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, peach and cherry.
Danone plans to make Danio’s high protein content a key feature of its launch campaign, which will feature TV, sampling, PR, in-store and digital activity.