Greek dairy company Fage won a long-standing legal battle in Britain to block a US-based rival, Chobani, to market strained yogurt as “Greek yogurt”. The British High Court ruled in Fage’s favor by stating that “Greek yogurt” can only be “Greek”. Chobani had argued that the term should be treated as a product description rather than the product’s nation of origin.
Chobani – founded by Turkish entrepreneur Hamdi Ulukaya – is forbidden from marketing US-made yogurt as Greek in Britain. The same yogurt brand markets its yogurt as “Greek” in U.S. supermarkets.
“We will continue to advocate our view that the population of the UK knows and understands Greek Yogurt to be a product description in terms of how it’s made, not where it is made, similar to things like French fries and English muffins in the US,” wrote Chobani in a written statement on the ruling that adds salt to the wound by also requiring it to pay for Fage’s legal fees. In its statement, it added that it will stop selling its brand of yogurt in Britain.
The decision ends a legal battle that Fage started in 2012 in order to protect its dominant British market share.