By CAROL RYAN DUMAS
Rabobank, a leading global food and agribusiness bank, has named Chobani as the winner of its 2012 North America Innovation in Leadership award for the company's "groundbreaking contribution" to the U.S. yogurt sector.
The 2012 award honors Chobani, a Rabobank client, for the transformational impact of its practices on the U.S. yogurt industry and its success in redefining an established market to advance its business and the overall yogurt category.
"In a sector historically dominated by global giants, Chobani -- led by its visionary founder, president and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya -- clearly evidences that a singular focus on the consumer and an organizational culture which thrives on innovation can be powerful drivers of a meteoric rise to market leadership," Rita Keskinyan, managing director at Rabobank, said in a Rabobank press release today.
"At Chobani, innovation is at the core of everything we do -- from research and development to the way we build our production facilities and cultivate our employees," John Heath, vice president of new ventures and innovation at Chobani, said in the release.
Since hitting shelves in 2007, Chobani has skyrocketed to become America's No. 1 selling yogurt brand, igniting a yogurt revolution in the United States, Rabobank said.
As Chobani flourishes, so do its local communities: Chobani is committed to using milk from surrounding area farms around its New Berlin, N.Y., Twin Falls, Idaho, and Dandenong, Australia, production facilities, driving local economic growth and revival.