How Chobani’s Innovators Think About Fruit Flavors
Chobani, a food-focused wellness company and America’s leading Greek Yogurt brand, has turned to the WILD side with its recently released “Chobani® With a Hint of Wild Blueberry” yogurt. This new flavor is part of the company’s “Hint Of” Greek Yogurt line that is high in protein (12g) and low in sugar (9g) and features hand-selected varietal fruits and spices including Madagascar Vanilla & Cinnamon, Gili Cherry, Alphonso Mango, Monterey Strawberry, Clingstone Peach, Willamette Raspberry and our own sweet, tangy and antioxidant-rich Wild Blueberry that has thrived in the Maine and Eastern Canadian landscape for over 10,000 years.
Why Choose Wild?
Multifaceted Complex Flavor
According to Chobani VP of Innovation, Niel Sandfort, “We needed something that was intense, brought some sweetness, a little tang, and some depth of flavor and complexity within the fruit – so the Wild Blueberry was a quick winner for us.”
A Low Sugar Solution
Aside from providing a dynamic, yet refined flavor, one of Chobani’s main concerns with this new product line was to create a delicious yogurt while maintaining high nutritional value and low sugar content. According to Sandfort, “As our team was developing the products, we had a specific sugar target – the finished product has a total of only 9 grams of sugar, 4 or 5 of which are inherent in the lactose.” Therefore, Chobani needed a fruit that was naturally low in sugar, and with no added sugar. Wild Blueberries are one of the lowest sugar fruits available. Wild Blueberries have 10 grams of sugar per cup and have 32% less sugar than ordinary blueberries. Plus, Wild Blueberries are a low-glycemic food, scoring 53 on the 100-point Glycemic Index.
Aside from their tangy flavor and low sugar content, Wild Blueberries add great nutritional value too – having 2 times the antioxidants compared to regular blueberries and 21% of daily intake of fiber. “In today’s market, it’s challenging to create a product in the U.S. that performs like this nutritionally, yet still generates mass appeal,” said Sandfort.
Sandfort says “A Hint of Wild Blueberry” stands out compared to other yogurts on the market today. The refined, modest, yet dynamic aroma of Wild Blueberries combined with Chobani’s creamy texture of yogurt – make it a win-win for yogurt lovers and health-nuts. Also, because the Wild Blueberries are “naturally smaller, more compact, and have less water content, they were exactly what we needed for the otherwise low flavor, low sugar environment,” said Sandfort.
How Chobani Thinks About Fruit – Variety is Everything
While the Wild Blueberry is indigenous to Maine and Eastern Canada, Chobani’s roots originate in Upstate New York – the home of the Apple.
“We know our apples very well,” explains Sandfort. “If you say ‘apple’ to an Upstate New Yorker or any of the great apple growing regions in the U.S., that means nothing of course, because variety is everything. I don’t like Macintosh, I love Honey Crisp – there’s firmness, there’s skin thickness, there’s color, there’s sour, there’s tartness. Wild Blueberries are very complex, just like grapes for winemaking or anything else. So, we, of course, knew that and had that in mind.”
The taste-testers at Chobani immediately picked up on the wide variety of flavors within Wild Blueberries – some being tangy, tart, or sweet. Because of the mild flavor in Chobani’s new “Hint Of” product line, Chobani needed the “sensory to be impactful – and the Wild Blueberry delivers that ‘better bang for your buck’ if you will or the ‘punch’ – so it was a clear choice right out of the gates,” said Sandfort.
Culinary innovators recognize the value of featuring a Wild Superfruit ingredient and its perceived promise of taste, health and sustainability. Discover the Power of Wild research and how Wild Blueberries can give your brand a competitive edge with real food consumers. Research categories include yogurt, smoothies, granola, baby food, beef jerky, snack bars, muffins, restaurant entrees, breakfasts, desserts and more. Check out the food category relevant to your business at: wildblueberries.com/eatwild