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Norwich Based Chobani Named ‘One of the Most Innovative Companies of 2017′

For the 10th year, Fast Company has released its list of the top 50 Most Innovative Companies in the world and Norwich based Chobani has made the list for 2017, taking the number nine spot.

Flanked on either side of the list by Twillo (in the 8th spot) and Spotify (in the 10th spot), Chobani has been globally recognized by Fast Compay because, as Fast Company writes, they aren’t “afraid to play rough.” In 2016, Chobani went head to head with General Mills and Dannon by releasing a commercial which suggested that maybe their rival giants used unhealthy additives in their yogurt.

Chobani At The 2014 Olympic 100 Day Countdown
Rommel Demano/Getty Images for Chobani

In the spring of 2016, Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya surprised his 2,000 full-time employees at Chobani’s plant in New Berlin by giving them shares worth up to 10 percent of the company. Some of those employees could one day end up millionaires.

Ulukaya told Fast Company that he believes in investing in others, “One thing I always say is, ‘I don’t want more, I just want to do more.” On the subject of giving his employees shares in the company, Ulukaya told the New York Times, “I’ve built something I never thought would be such a success, but I cannot think of Chobani being built without all these people.”  He continued, “Now they’ll be working to build the company even more and building their future at the same time.”

JP Yim-Getty Images
JP Yim-Getty Images

A native of a small farming village in Turkey, Ulukaya came to the United States in 1994 in order to study English and take some business classes. It was in 2005 that Ulukaya purchased a yogurt plant in Chenango County which Kraft had once owned, but was no longer using. From there, the Chobani empire was built. Chobani is recognized as the number one selling strained Greek-style yogurt in the United States.

[via Fast Company/Fortune/Business Week/New York Times/Chobani]

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