Greek yogurt is all the craze right now, especially in the USA. You go to any grocery store and you'll see the refrigerated section stacked with a multitude of options.
In these greek yogurt wars, one company in particularly has stepped up their marketing game. That's Chobani. Earlier this year during the Olympics, Chobani was a big sponsor and even had a booth set up at Times Square and on this recent trip to NYC, with my friends Jia and Helen, I finally got to visit their new Chobani SoHo yogurt bar.
So everyone knows you can get greek yogurt in grocery stores but what Chobani has done is create an entire foodie experience around their yogurt.
What they do is just serve up the same Chobani you can get in your local grocery store but instead the twist is that they've come up with a menu of unique ways to eat your yogurt that is put together when ordered.
The idea of a yogurt bar is so brilliant yet simple at the same time.
- It creates awareness about the Chobani yogurt brand
- Creates an experience around greek yogurt which hasn't been done before
- Basically gives you the recipes for how you can do the same thing at home
It's not DIY like it is at a frozen yogurt store but instead you choose from a curated menu of best mixes. Your choice comes down to whether you want something savoury or sweet.
Chobani's “yogurt masters” have done an amazing job of creating mixes that even you've probably never heard about.
The yogurt also comes in two sizes. Full and half.
Ordering and creation
The ordering process was pretty simple. A waiter at the bar was taking orders on his iPad and after he punched it in and took our payment, we just waited at one of the bar tables.
Watching the “yogurt masters” (yes they actually wear white head scarfs and chef jackets) do their thing behind the glass, what astonished me was the amount of detail that they placed in the creation of each menu item. Each greek yogurt was delicately put together with much attention placed on the additional garnishes that are placed on top. You can tell from the photos just how nice they turn out. First impressions are clearly very important for Chobani.
What we tried
After scanning through the menu at least 10 times, we finally made our selections and decided on:
- Peach & Almond (seasonal special)
- Fig & Walnut
- Peanut Butter & Jelly
- Hummus & Za'atar
All were delicious in their own way. The peach & almond was really light and refreshing with the honey really balancing out the tartness of the yogurt. I didn't think I'd enjoy the fig & walnut very much because I don't usually dig figs but to be honest I was a big fan of this one. I loved chewing into the figs and mixing it in with the yogurt and walnut. Quite the awesome mix. PB&J was a nice classic and who knew that yogurt could go well with this? The peanuts created a nice crunch texture to everything as well. Lastly there was the Hummus & Za'atar which was probably my least favorite simply because of how salty it was. We got to the point at the end where we ran out of pita chips and had to eat it by itself and at that point it was too overpowering. We asked about extra pita chips as well but it would have costed extra. That being said, I thought it was a brilliant mix that I never would have thought about. With everything mixed in, you could barely tell you were having greek yogurt.
In terms of other menu items, we didn't try anything outside of the yogurts though there were a lot of people in line grabbing coffees as well.
What really completed the experience for me was how we were able to keep our glass bowls. So not only can you enjoy the yogurt at the store but you can also bring the bowls back home to enjoy even more greek yogurt at home.
They're so open and relaxed about the bowls too. I wanted to have a large and small bowl to bring back home and since my friends wanted 2 bowls as well, I simply asked one of the waiters for an extra one. He was more than happy to provide me with one.
Tips & tricks
- On the weekend it is pretty packed so be prepared to wait in line and also wait for a seat to open up.
- Don't forget to take your bowl back home. Trust me, they WANT you to take it away.
- Chobani offers 0% and 2% fat. By default you'll get the 2% but if you request it, you can get 0% as well.
If you're a fan of greek yogurt then this is not to be missed when you head down to SoHo in New York City. Souvenir glass bowls almost pays for itself!