US –  Chobani, a leading Greek yogurt maker in the US, has signed a distribution deal with U.S. food and beverage PepsiCo in efforts to expand its footprint across the United States.

According to a Bloomberg report, the distribution deal being implemented on a pilot basis will see PepsiCo distribute Chobani Complete yogurt drinks and other products to convenience stores, colleges and universities in the northeastern part of the U.S.

The Greek yogurt maker said the partnership allows it to use PepsiCo’s robust chilled distribution network, where products are fresher and closer to the point of sale, to more quickly respond to customer needs.

The agreement will also allow Chobani to grow in areas where there isn’t expansive distribution or a concentration of people and into categories where PepsiCo’s size provides an easier reach.

Once successful, the pilot program will pave way for a more expanded distribution partnership that will also involve the entire portfolio of Chobani products including those that haven’t yet been introduced.

Chobani has been investing heavily in launching new products in recent years.  

Some of Chobani’s new product activity dabbles outside dairy, including launching its cold brew coffees, probiotics and oatmilk as well as expanding its yogurt offerings to formulations blended with nut butters and a kids’ line.

Its Chobani Probiotic line is a fruity plant-based beverage that is said to provide a number of health benefits, while Chobani Complete is a high-protein, lactose-free, no-added-sugar yogurt.

With the pandemic providing many consumers an opportunity to think differently about their diets and how they shop, a new distribution deal with PepsiCo could be an excellent timing.

It offers  Chobani an opportunity to tap into PepsiCo’s vast distribution network, enabling it bring more of its better-for-you offerings to consumers.

“Teaming up with PepsiCo accelerates Chobani’s mission, helping us reach more corners of the country and giving our fans new ways to buy our simply crafted and wholesome products,” Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of Chobani, said in a statement.

Last month, reports indicated Chobani is considering going public at a valuation of between US$7 billion to $10 billion.

PepsiCo reportedly was in discussions to take a stake in Chobani five years ago, but no deal was ever reached.

With Chobani gearing up for a possible IPO, boosting its market share, profits and consumer exposure are key priorities.

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