NORWICH, NY – (Press Release) Chobani, LLC, a leading natural food company and maker of America’s # 1 Greek Yogurt brand, announced today its Founder and CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya was named to the 2017 TIME 100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
In a piece authored by Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of the Human Rights Watch, he states "Hamdi personifies the American Dream, showing that anyone arriving on U.S. shores with drive and intelligence can make it – and bring others along with him."
The list, now in its fourteenth year, recognizes the world’s most influential individuals. As TIME Editor-in-Chief Nancy Gibbs has said of the list in the past: “Each year our TIME 100 list lets us step back and measure the forces that move us…. One way or another they each embody a breakthrough: they broke the rules, broke the record, broke the silence, broke the boundaries to reveal what we're capable of.”
The full list and related items appear in the May 1, 2017 issue of TIME, available on newsstands on Friday, April 21, and now at time.com/time100.
Follow @TIME for updates about the list on Twitter and atFacebook.com/TIME and #TIME100
About Hamdi Ulukaya
Hamdi Ulukaya is founder, Chairman and CEO of Chobani, LLC, one of the fastest growing food companies in the last decade and a pioneer for the natural food movement.
Raised in a dairy-farming family in a small village in eastern Turkey, Ulukaya launched Chobani in 2007 with the mission and vision of making better food more accessible. In less than five years, Chobani became the No. 1–selling Greek Yogurt brand in the U.S. with more than a billion dollars in annual sales. Earlier this year, Chobani was named by Fast Company as one of the 10 most innovative companies in the world, and number one in its Food and Social Good categories.
Ulukaya has always made helping people and having a positive impact on communities a priority for Chobani. From the beginning, the company has donated a portion of its profits to charitable causes, many of them in Idaho and New York where its products are made. A champion of reducing income and wealth inequality nationwide, Ulukaya advocated in support of a proposal to increase the minimum wage in New York that ultimately became law. In addition, last year Ulukaya announced a groundbreaking profit-sharing program for company’s 2,000 employees. He also took the rare step in manufacturing of instituting a six week, fully paid parental leave program for all of the company’s mothers and fathers.
In 2016, Ulukaya launched the Chobani Food Incubator to mentor and support socially responsible food entrepreneurs and further deliver on the company’s mission to provide better food for more people.
A devoted philanthropist, Ulukaya founded the Tent Foundation to bring entrepreneurial approaches and creative solutions to help end the global refugee crisis. He also signed the Giving Pledge and committed the majority of his personal wealth to the cause. For these efforts, he was named an Eminent Advocate by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and received the United Nations Foundation Global Leadership Award, among other recognitions.
Ulukaya sits on the board of the International Board of Special Olympics, the Pathfinder Village, and The American Turkish Council. A big fan of independent films and the Turkish soccer team Fenerbahce., Ulukaya lives in New Berlin, N.Y.
In less than 10 years, the company has become a model for innovation and leadership. Its journey has become an example of how a modern food company can have a positive and transformational impact on communities and supermarket aisles alike. Chobani’s founding mission is to provide better food to more people, rooted in the belief that access to delicious, nutritious, natural and affordable food is a right, not a privilege.
The company, which remains independently owned, recently announced its continued commitment to the it’s deeply-rooted belief in the power of food, innovation, and community with a brand platform and company mantra, “Believe in Food.” Furthering the brand’s mission to provide better food for more people, the campaign is grounded in three of the company’s foundational and core values:
· Food: Chobani believes that every food maker has a responsibility to provide more people with better options.
· People: Chobani wants to inspire a new way of business and a new way of work. Chobani believes that when businesses operate responsibly, generously and equally they can bring good and help change things for the better.
· Community: Since day one, Chobani’s promoted diversity and inclusiveness within their workforce because they know that their communities are stronger when people are given opportunity and access.
In May 2016, it announced a $100 million investment to its plant in Twin Falls, Idaho—the world’s largest yogurt manufacturing facility—to meet demand for new and existing products.
On the heels of its Chobani "Flip"™ product success, Chobani also announced its expansion and investment beyond the yogurt aisle with Drink Chobani™ beverage.
It was also recently recognized by Fast Company as one of the top 10 most innovative companies in the world.
Chobani's market-share of the overall spoonable yogurt category hit its highest ever at 20.0 which translates to 37 percent share of overall Greek Yogurt.* Topline sales growth is up 20 percent year-over-year versus year prior. The company currently receives up to 4-million pounds of fresh milk from local farms in New York and Idaho every day and employs more than 2,000 people.