Whole Foods Market has announced plans to stop selling Chobani Greek yogurt by early 2014, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company plans to make room for non-genetically-modified food and organic brands instead.
In March, Whole Foods announced that it would require labels on all genetically modified food (GMOs) by 2018. The market currently sells 250 GMO-free brands, which is "more than any other retailer in North America," according to Whole Foods' website.
For the time being, Whole Foods has no plans to drop other yogurt brands that contain GMOs, such as Chobani rival Fage.
Chobani is one of the most visible yogurt brands in America, and the industry leader for Greek yogurt. Its popularity has soared in recent years, and the company is currently making a big advertising push. Whether the end of its partnership with Whole Foods, the biggest retailer of natural and organic foods in North America, seriously impacts the company's goal to become "more of a household name" remains to be seen.
Chobani gave the following statement to The Huffington Post in response to the news:
Though we have limited distribution within Whole Foods, they have been a wonderful and an important partner of ours over the years. As the number one Greek yogurt brand in America using only natural ingredients, we share an affinity with Whole Foods and its shoppers. We know our fans love buying our products in their stores and we hope to continue our partnership moving forward.
UPDATE 12/19: Chobani has posted a statement on its website titled, "Chobani on GMOs":
As America’s No.-1 selling Greek Yogurt brand, we require a high volume of milk, and right now there is not enough organic milk available to meet our broad consumer demand.
We continue to stand by and work with the 875 farms that provide us with milk as they explore new feed options. In the meantime, we’re doing everything we can with what’s available to make the best cup of yogurt; using only natural ingredients and no preservatives, none of our non-dairy ingredients has been genetically modified, and our milk comes from cows that have not been treated with rBST.
For the full statement, head over to Chobani's website.
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Thirty-five tons of corn put by Greenpace activists at Mexico City's Zocalo Square as a protest against the sowing of transgenic corn, form a map of Mexico on February 26, 2009. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)
People walk on a plateform past an advert against genetically modified (GMO) food on February 15, 2011 at a subway station in Paris. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Greenpeace activists demonstrate against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on November 24, 2008 in front of EU headquarters in Brussels. Greenpeace called on the European Union to suspend the authorization of GMOs until the EU is capable of evaluating the risks they pose. (DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
Greenpeace activists stand a protest in front of Los Pinos presidential residence in Mexico City against the farming of transgenic corn in Mexico, on June 26, 2009. (ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)
A Greenpeace activist impersonating Brazil's Chief of Staff Dilma Russeff takes part in a protest against the authorization to grow transgenic rice during a meeting of the National Biosecurity Technical Commission (CYNBIO) at the Science and Technology Ministry in Brasilia October 15, 2009. (JOEDSON ALVES/AFP/Getty Images)
Greenpeace activists distribute samples of transgenic rice as part of a protest against the authorization to grow transgenic rice during a meeting of the National Biosecurity Technical Commission (CYNBIO) at the Science and Technology Ministry in Brasilia October 15, 2009. (JOEDSON ALVES/AFP/Getty Images)
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A couple waves after a parody of union between German chemical giant BASF (L) and the European Food Safety Authority (R) - Autorite europeenne de securite des aliments- (EFSA) during the International Agricultural Fair on March 6, 2010 in Paris. (BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A giant banner depicting a farm, is seen as Greenpeace activists hold banners to protest against the genetically modified (GMO) food production in front of the parliament building of Budapest on February 10, 2010. (ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
A grey-cow is pictured near Greenpeace activists in traditional Hungarian costume standing in front of a giant banner depicting a farm as others hold a banner reading 'GMO-free Europe' to protest against the genetically modified (GMO) food production in front of the parliament building of Budapest on February 10, 2011 during a demonstration. (ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
Greenpeace activists hold a banner to protest against the genetically modified (GMO) food production in front of the parliament building of Budapest on February 10, 2010. (ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
A man dressed up as a bee holds a placard during a demonstration organized by French Professional Beekeepers Federation (FFAP) to protest against the use of pesticide on September 14, 2011 along the Saint-Bernard quay in Paris. (JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images)
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An anti-GMO activist holds a banner reading 'Science without conscience is but the ruin of soul' during an action to call for the ban of the 'MON 810', a variety of genetically modified maize (corn) developed by Monsanto Company on January 23, 2012 at a Monsanto storehouse in Trebes near Carcassonne, southern France. (ERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Is Branding Food With "GMO" the Kiss of Death?
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