Will Chobani Go Public?
The rise of Chobani is one of the great American success stories. The workers at the Twin Falls plant love their work producing some of the best-tasting yogurt in the world. The key to the privately held yogurt king's success has been the leadership of Hamdi Ulukaya, who started the company through his own bootstrapping efforts.
Mr. Ulukaya told Forbes his secret to making his vision a reality: "When I started Chobani, I had never run a business before and didn't have a plan, but one thing I saw that could be easily fixed was the old factory walls: they needed new paint. So I bought paint, and our first five employees and I got to work . It was the first and best decision I made. There is something magical in movement, in action, something that allows you to think, discover new ideas and feel that you are progressing. So don't sit around and wait, act"
Could there be a change in leadership at Chobani? The Idaho Business Review reports via Bloomberg that they've contacted Bank of America and Goldman Sachs to develop their financial plans for the IPO. (An IPO is an initial public offering that allows a private company to go public by selling stocks for shares of the company.)
A public offering doesn't necessarily mean that ownership takes their money and cashes out. Think Mark Zuckerberg or Phil Knight.
The company announced last week that they've found a way to take sugar out of milk. Their new product is called Chobani Zero Sugar. Here's there how the process works according to their release: To create Chobani® Zero Sugar*, Chobani starts with a milk that's been filtered to reduce naturally occurring sugar. From there, Chobani uses cutting-edge natural fermentation methods that allow yogurt cultures to consume the remaining sugar. Chobani then adds natural, non-GMO sweeteners with pleasant tastes like monk fruit and allulose.
As a result, Chobani® Zero Sugar* is the first nationally distributed product in the U.S. yogurt aisle that has no sugar. Sold nationwide at grocery and retail stores this summer, Chobani® Zero Sugar* has only natural ingredients, 60 calories (per 5.3oz), and zero sugar. With 60% fewer calories than representative lowfat yogurt with fruit according to USDA FoodData Central.1 Chobani® Zero Sugar* is for the health-conscious consumer seeking natural alternatives to sugar. It is lactose-free, an excellent source of protein, and contains 6 live and active cultures, including probiotics.
"Chobani® Zero Sugar* is a revolutionary innovation," said Peter McGuinness, President, and COO of Chobani. "Our team developed a brand new product that is as delicious as it is healthy. You won't find another product on shelves nationwide in the U.S. dairy aisle with 11 grams of protein and only natural ingredients, but no sugar or artificial sweeteners."
Chobani's latest innovation comes as the food maker's growth in the yogurt aisle has outpaced the category. In the last 52 weeks, the total yogurt category's U.S. dollar sales have increased 2.2%, while Chobani's growth over the same period was 8.7% in Nielsen US Food channels2.
Just how much would Chobani be worth if it went public? Bloomberg via the Wall Street Journal says the company could be a $10 billion-dollar company. Chobani employees around 1,000 people, according to KMVT.