Chobani, Eager to Stay on Top, Plans Massive Giveaway

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Chobani will give away at least 10 million free products in a three-week period to extend its popularity and lead in the ever-competitive yogurt industry.

The "One for All" effort kicking off Monday is meant to mark Chobani's tenth anniversary. (Chobani was actually founded in 2005, but 2018 marks the tenth anniversary of its national rollout.) Since them, the brand has become the leading single U.S. yogurt brand, ahead of Groupe Danone's Dannon and General Mills' Yoplait, despite some food safety issues years ago and recent concerns voiced by consumers about what they said were some stinky yogurt cups.

Chobani - The Giving Tree
Chobani - The Giving Tree Credit: Chobani

A new ad promoting the giveaway is the major part of a spending spree Chobani plans for 2018. Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer Peter McGuinness previously said Chobani planned to spend 30 percent more on marketing in 2018, including a 50 percent increase in the first half of the year.

The spending hike is seemingly impossible for Chobani's publicly-traded rivals to match. But the yogurt category is often filled with discounting, including by Chobani itself. So it's likely yogurt eaters will see plenty of deals to help combat the dramatically increased marketing spending by Chobani.

The massive sampling program comes on the heels of a giveaway tactic from Kind. The snack bar maker recently ran a video starring Founder and CEO Daniel Lubetzky to announce plans to give away $6 million worth of Kind bars, or 3 million bars.

Along with its giveaways, Chobani is donating cases of yogurt to No Kid Hungry and is giving its employees extra free cases of yogurt to distribute as they see fit.

The "One for All" push includes a retro-styled storybook that expands on the new look Chobani unveiled in late 2017.

The push includes TV, online, shopper marketing, in-store and other events, social, radio and other elements. One example is an Alexa skill that will allow users to get coupons for use on Amazon Fresh and Prime Now.

Chobani says it did the bulk of the work on "One for All" internally, with Aitch on illustration, Aardman Nathan Love on animation, New Math on music, Hush on experiential production and Stink on digital production.

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