SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

February 7, 2014

US yogurt destined for Olympics hits import snag

(Continued)

A USDA spokeswoman said the agency is trying to work out an acceptable solution to allow the Chobani shipment.

“We strongly urge Russia to help our U.S. company resolve this issue expeditiously so that our Olympic athletes have access to these products,” said the USDA’s Courtney Rowe.

On Wednesday, Chobani became the third U.S. Olympic Committee sponsor to explicitly condemn Russia’s so-called anti-gay law this week.

“It’s disappointing that in 2014 this is still an issue,” said Chobani’s CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya.

The Sochi standoff isn’t Chobani’s only international struggle. Last week, a British appeals court sided with rival Fage, a Greek company, and said Chobani can’t label its products “Greek” in Britain because they’re made in America. Chobani has said it will appeal again.

Chobani, the No. 1 Greek yogurt brand in the U.S., faces intense competitive pressure at home from Danone, the largest yogurt maker in Russia and the world. Chobani ratcheted up the competition with Danone’s Dannon Oikos brand with dueling Super Bowl ads.

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