Mar 28, 2024 - Business

Chobani doubles down on corporate impact strategy

Illustration of a cup of yogurt with a strawberry in the shape of a heart in the middle

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Chobani plans to be more vocal about its impact work — such as environmental and social initiatives — at a time when most big brands are going quiet.

Driving the news: Chobani has reshuffled its impact work by naming former chief communications officer Nishant Roy as chief impact officer.

  • Plus, as Axios scooped earlier this week, Peloton and Edelman alum Ben Boyd will take over Chobani's communications function.
  • The two will work closely to share more human-centric stories around corporate ESG strategies, Boyd told Axios.

Zoom out: A recent Fact Set study found that the number of S&P 500 companies citing ESG on earnings calls has declined in four of the past five quarters.

Yes, but: Just because communications teams by and large aren't regularly flaunting ESG messaging, doesn't mean the impact work has stopped.

Between the lines: Chobani has both a business success story and an impact story to tell, says Roy.

  • Chobani's sales are up in the Ozempic era, with the low-sugar yogurt segment seeing 17.9% growth year-over-year.
  • Chobani sales increased from $1.88 billion to $2.2 billion and the company recently acquired La Colombe coffee shops for $900 million.
  • Plus, there is talk of a looming IPO.

What they're saying: The goal is to create the Patagonia effect — meaning that consumers, employees and potential investors all keenly understand what a company stands for, says Roy.

  • "We need to collectively give [the communications team] the appropriate points to go and explain to the public what it is that we're actually doing here, because it's not just impact for the sake of impact — it's core to our business. ... And now with La Colombe in the family, we get to be impactful from a food perspective and from a global supply chain and sourcing perspective."
  • "We fundamentally believe that we can be a purposeful business while actually being profitable," he added.

Go deeper: Low-sugar Greek yogurt sales are booming in the Ozempic era

Go deeper