For well over a year, I’ve enjoyed almost the same breakfast daily. Strong black coffee. Six-ounces of Vanilla Chobani Greek Yogurt topped with a quarter cup of granola. Mid-morning I eat two Clementine oranges, a banana, or maybe some grapes. The rest of the day I work to keep a respectable calorie count with other healthy foods. I drink only non-caloric liquids, coffee, tea, and water – lots of water. I measure and count everything. It’s a struggle, to be sure, but it’s paid off significantly in smaller clothing sizes, and a smaller, healthier me. The struggle has been eased because of my morning vanilla Chobani.
A healthy lifestyle is essential for writers. So much of our time is spent sitting at the computer, recording the voices we hear, telling their tales. While in our creative zone, it’s easy to nibble on one snack after another, to have the M & M’s, Snickers, and ice cream go straight through mouth and belly to our hips. But somehow I’ve broken that cycle. By eating better, by walking more, I feel and am healthier.
Enter conflict. Over the past month I’ve seen a decrease in vanilla Chobani in the stores. Fruit versions are still on the shelves – blueberry, peach, raspberry, mango, strawberry, strawberry-banana, pineapple and more. They even have honey-flavored and plain Chobani. But vanilla, my staple, has dwindled away. The store manager told me they’re having a shortage due to rising popularity.
On Friday, I searched Chobani’s website. No mention of any shortage there, just the same silly-cute promos and much valued nutritional data. In the Contact form, I emailed a message. “Where’s my vanilla Chobani?” I asked. Then, worrier that I am, the fears set in. What if some marketing moron had decided to discontinue it?
I decided to go on a vanilla Chobani hunt. List of stores in hand, I braved the cold spring drizzles and got into my car. At each store, I found the same thing…lots of fruit-flavored, just NO VANILLA. One store posted a sign. “Due to an exceptionally high demand, we are temporarily experiencing shortages of Chobani Greek Yogurt.” But I saw no shortage of the fruit flavors…just NO VANILLA.
So, I did what any American consumer would do. I improvised and switched brands. Dannon has come out with a vanilla variety of Greek Yogurt. So has Brown Cow, and Cabot. Prices are comparable. I bought a few of each to try.
When I returned home, I found an annoyingly cheerful email message waiting for me from Chobani. The young woman told me that business is booming and that their teams are working 24/7 to deliver Chobani. (I’m truly glad…great product!) To increase the amount produced, she continued, they’ve become “creative in managing the production of flavors.” They’re placing greater emphasis on the fruit flavors, “and have limited production on vanilla.” WHAT? I read on. “We anticipate refocusing on vanilla at the end of April.”
Well, there’s hope, I guess.
This morning I’ll savor the last of my vanilla Chobani. Tomorrow I’ll begin sampling my non-Chobani vanilla Greek yogurt brands. I bought enough to last the next two weeks.
Happy and Blessed Easter to all! ∞
UPDATE: May 1st, 2011 – Still no sign of Vanilla Chobani although the stores’ shelves are filled with every fruit flavor imaginable. Just no vanilla. 😦 I’m adjusting to Dannon & Cabot. They’re different, but not bad. – DM
UPDATE #2: May 5th, 2011 – Vanilla Chobani returns to eastern Pennsylvania! 🙂
UPDATE #3: September 23rd, 2012 – Vanilla Chobani (and Honey, too) have once again disappeared from the stores. Chobani – why don’t you listen? If you have to cut a flavor, why Vanilla? Oikos has come down to a manageable price, and store brands are just as tasty. At this point I have no problem switching brands.