Chobani loses 'Greek yogurt' legal battle in UK

LONDON (AP) - It's not all Greek to yogurt makers.

A British court has ruled that Chobani, the company leading the burgeoning Greek yogurt market in the U.S., cannot label its products "Greek" in the U.K. because they are made in America.

Chobani said Wednesday it was disappointed with the ruling, but added that "the fight is not over" and it would continue the legal battle.

The court case was brought by Chobani's rival Fage, a Greek company, soon after New York-based Chobani launched their products in the U.K. in 2012. Fage has dominated sales of Greek yogurt in Britain under the "Total" brand for decades.

A judge ruled last year that Chobani's "Greek yogurt" label misled British customers, agreeing with Fage that products labeled Greek yogurt _ which is made by straining off the whey to achieve a thick and creamy texture _ have to be made in Greece.

Justice Michael Briggs also granted an injunction preventing Chobani from labeling their product "Greek yogurt" in Britain.

Chobani appealed that decision, but a panel of three judges at the Court of Appeal dismissed it on Tuesday.

The company said it would appeal again, this time to the Supreme Court.

"We remain of the view that the population of the U.K. know and understand Greek yogurt to be a product description regardless of where it is made," it said in a statement. "We remain committed to the U.K. market and to breaking the monopoly on the use of the term Greek yogurt enjoyed by Fage."

Chobani, which was first launched in 2007, has grown rapidly since then to become the top seller of Greek yogurt in the U.S.

The company withdrew its products from British shelves last year, saying at the time that it wanted to relaunch later with local sourcing credentials.


Sylvia Hui can be reached at

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • Workers In Danger?
    A state investigation found the 520 bridge contractor committed serious safety violations

  • Police Hackathon
    The Seattle Police Department is holding its first-ever hackathon with 35 tech experts
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.