Categorized | Legal News

It’s All Greek to Me – Unless I Move to the UK, That Is

If Greek yogurt isn’t made in Greece, is it really Greek Yogurt? Maybe in America, but not in the UK.


Chobani, a popular US producer of yogurt, saw the losing side of a court case initiated by its rival Fage,

who claimed that the labeling confused buyers. In a nutshell, Fage argued that consumers of Chobani

believed that the yogurt was being made in Greece (as opposed to upstate New York, home of the

original production company) because Chobani marketed their product as Greek yogurt. Fage claimed

this distinction mattered to consumers, whereas Chobani argued that Greek yogurt has “no clearly

identified distinctive class” and that labeling their product as Greek doesn’t, essentially, mean anything.


Justice Briggs, however, sided with Fage; from now on, Chobani cannot label its yogurt as Greek in either

England or Wales.


A case like this may seem less serious to the average American than, say, a case where a foreign

company uses lead paint in a child’s toy but neglects to inform the public about it – it’s not as though

a person has ever died because of extra creamy yogurt, right? But at its heart, the Chobani/Fage case

is no different than any other case involving mislabeling. In some ways, it may be even more insidious,

since cases like these are likely to slip through the cracks, thus leaving openings for more complex, and

potentially dangerous, consumer fraud cases involving GMOs or defective products.


Or maybe denizens of the UK simply take their yogurt more seriously than we do. Either way, there will

be a lot less Greek yogurt in England or Wales than there was before.

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