Answer: Because it's really Turkish.
Lots of Turkish stuff in this country is labelled as Greek. In this case, people were already familiar with Greek yogurt, even though it's the same stuff the Turks make.
Tomato, tomahhhto. Whatever!
So what makes this Turkish/Greek stuff different from regular yogurt?
When I lived in Turkey, I was like: What is it with this thick stuff?
I was yearning for Yoplait, you see, but all while the Turkish stuff was better for me.
Less fat, more protein. No artificial anything.
Me being a word-a-holic, the purpose here is to let you in on the roots of the name Chobani.
Choban is the Turkish word for a shepherd. When you add an i, the word is modified to mean "shepherd's style". Technically, I think the i is an Arabic addition. You know the Ottomans were all over the Middle East, so they must have picked up some word habits while they were there.
The Chobani story:
While tidying up his desk back in 2005, our Founder and CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya, stumbled upon a classified ad for a yogurt plant recently closed down by Kraft. After initially throwing the ad away, Hamdi listened to his gut, fished it out of the trash and went to see it that day. He decided to buy the plant on the spot, and went to work on perfecting the recipe for Chobani based on his belief that everyone, regardless of income or location, deserved access to delicious, high-quality yogurt. The first cup of CHO finally hit shelves 18 months later and has since grown to become America’s #1 yogurt.
To me, Hamdi sounds like an Egyptian first name. Ulukaya is definitely Turkish . Maybe that's how the name Chobani happened. Hybrid people make up hybrid words - I know I do it all the time.
Per the (very cute) video below, Hamdi Ulukaya grew up in eastern Turkey.
So I'm off to have some black cherry Chobani.
What's your favorite flavor?