Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Greek Yog(h)urt War: Round 1 Goes to FAGE - The REAL Greek!

FAGE Total: Real GREEK Yoghurt with honey and walnuts

In what could be a landmark case last week, US yoghurt producer Chobani lost a court case in the UK over the "misleading" labelling of its Greek yoghurts.

Following a seven-day trial, which was initiated by a complaint from the original Greek producer Fage, Chobani was told by a High Court judge that the labelling on its product was "confusing" for UK consumers.

Mr Justice Briggs granted a permanent injunction and said Fage had succeeded in its claim to "restrain Chobani from passing off its American-made yoghurt in England and Wales under the description Greek yoghurt".

Fage, which produces Total Greek yoghurt, had claimed buyers of "thick and creamy" yoghurt generally believed Greek yoghurt came from Greece and that it mattered to consumers that it was made in Greece. (Full article Just Food )

What is Greek yoghurt? Here are the judge's comments:

Its thick and creamy texture appears predominantly to have been attributable to the methods of straining – and with no additives.

“Whereas most Greek yoghurt is sold in plain or twin-pot form, Greek-style yoghurt is sold in a broad range of varieties in terms of the inclusion of different types of sweetening or flavouring,”the judgment stated. “The only defining features of Greek-style yoghurt sold in the UK which can be identified are that it is thick and creamy and not made in Greece.”

TOTAL Greek Yoghurt, the judge added, had always been made in Greece, in accordance with a straining method resulting in a thick and creamy product,  and with no additives.
On the other hand, he continued, the many Greek Style yoghurts sold in the UK are not made in Greece by a straining method and have thickeners - and sometimes other ingredients - added to them . (Full article: The Lawyer.Com)

Next stop USA for Round 2? 

One of the first things we did during our visit to the USA over Christmas was to checkout the yoghurts being marketed as 'Greek Yogurt' in the USA... 

The 'Greek' Yoghurt section at a Publix store in Tampa Bay

It was interesting to note that they all needed to be baptised Greek in order to sell, sell, sell. The same product labelled as American would  probably still be sitting on the shelves... 

We came to the conclusion that there was lots of room for FAGE Total Greek Yogurt to grow.

The FAGE, the Real Greek Yoghurt, range in the Publix Store

Buy GREEK but which is the real GREEK?
A selection of 'Greek Yogurt' available at Publix in the USA
There's only one Real Greek here: FAGE 

In our view Chobani just doesn't compare on any level, and neither do Voskos and Oikos... if we had to rank... it would be in this order
1st  FAGE (by a long shot)
2nd Voskos
3rd Oikos
4th Chobani

For those that don't know, both the word Voskos and Chobani means shepherd in English while Oikos means home

Wish 1: that Global Greek John Stamos would pronounce it properly as Eekos rather than Oykos...

Wish 2: That FAGE or Olympos had had the vision to act earlier and had our other Global Greek Maria Menounos advertise the real 'Greek yogurt' rather than the 'Greek Yogurt' bars which aren't Greek at all... Greece has so many famous Global Greeks and would-be ambassadors, willing and able to act for Greece it is a shame not to benefit from their popularity and their willingness to add their voice to support Greece.

Let's get it together!

United we can help Greece move forward.

Make Buy GREEK a way of life! Make it part of YOUR life!

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