Why Chobani Is One Of The Most Innovative Companies Of 2017

Greek yogurt giant Chobani may sell a smooth product, but it isn’t afraid to play rough. Last year, it poked its rivals General Mills and Dannon with an ad campaign suggesting their yogurts contain unappetizing additives. And its Mezé Dips serve as a direct counter to PepsiCo’s Sabra hummus brand (the soda giant tried to buy a major stake in Chobani early last year).

Chobani’s aggressiveness extends to its product development: The company has been expanding to win a greater share in the overall yogurt category, where it generates more than $1.5 billion in revenue annually. In 2016, it launched a new line of yogurt drinks, more variations on its Flip mix-in product, additional yogurt flavors, and a concept café inside a Target in Manhattan.

The drizzle of honey on top came last spring when CEO Hamdi Ulukaya rewarded his employees with hundreds of millions in shares. “One thing I always say is, ‘I don’t want more, I just want to do more,’” he says of his strategy for investing in others. “Whatever I see in the world that discourages me, I answer with Chobani.”

This article is part of our coverage of the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2017.

A version of this article appeared in the March 2017 issue of Fast Company magazine.

WINNERS BY RANK

01 Amazon
For offering even more, even faster and smarter

02 Google
For developing a photographic memory

03 Uber
For accelerating autonomous driving

04 Apple
For baking in its advantages

05 Snap
For bringing crackle and pop to a new way of seeing the world

06 Facebook
For launching the right ads at the right moment

07 Netflix
For making surfing fun again

08 Twilio
For giving apps a voice

09 Chobani
For stirring it up in the grocery store

10 Spotify
For enticing artists with data

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