Yoplait, Dannon sue over brutal Chobani ads comparing their food to industrial waste

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Greek yogurt company Chobani's newest ad begins with a harsh claim against Yoplait: that the venerable yogurt maker's Greek yogurt contains a product that is also found in bug spray. As this is said, a huge diesel-spewing truck screams by to reinforce the point.

Essentially, Chobani is saying eating Yoplait is like eating industrial waste.

Yoplait was not thrilled, and is now suing Chobani in in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, alleging false advertising, the Star Tribune reports.


Their suit comes just a wek after Dannon threatened to sue Chobani over a similar ad comparing their yogurt to a public swimming pool.

The Star Tribune reports that Chobani preemptively filed for a declaration in New York court that its claims do not constitute false advertising. Dannon followed up with a counterclaim against Chobani, saying that, counter to what is claimed in the ad, chlorine isn't added to sucralose, a product contained in its yogurt.


Chobani on Monday criticized both General Mills and Dannon, the Star Tribune reported.

"While I'm not surprised, I'm disappointed that Dannon and General Mills are focused on stopping people from having the facts about artificial sweeteners and artificial preservatives," Peter McGuinness, Chobani's chief marketing and brand officer, said in a statement. "This campaign is about giving people truthful and accurate information so they can make more informed decisions about the food they buy."

In an emailed statement, Dannon said that the ingredient Chobani compares to bug spray, sucralose, is "an FDA-approved ingredient that has been safely and widely used as a sweetener in foods for more than 15 years."

Yoplait did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

While Chobani remains the dominant player in the Greek yogurt market, Dannon and Yoplait have slowly chipped away at its market share, the Wall Street Journal reported last summer. At one point Chobani had cornered a majority of the market, but a product recall helped send its market share down more than 10 percentage points.


Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.