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Go Greek! Disney, Chobani aim for the kids market

Too tart, not kid friendly—Chobani's first attempt at selling children Greek yogurt did not go so well.

"We launched kids a while ago. It didn't go so hot—a branding mea culpa," said Peter McGuinness, Chobani's chief marketing and brand officer, in a phone interview.

Chobani Kids
Source: Chobani

But attracting kids is a key area of the industry's growth plan so it overhauled its kids platform earlier this year. It's also now doubling down with its first item aimed at toddlers, new kids Greek yogurt pouches and its first ever co-branded licensing deal on packs with Disney.

"Disney is one of the most beloved trusted assets in the world," McGuinness said about the recently inked deal with Disney aimed at boosting the yogurt's kid appeal with characters like Winnie the Pooh and Spiderman.

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The move comes as Greek yogurt sales growth continued at a healthy-double digit clip of 14.8 percent in the year ended in late November, according to Nielsen. Although this number is large for the consumer packaged goods space, it represents a slowdown from the 46.7 percent growth in the same period ending in 2013.

"Migration is slowing because people have migrated," McGuinness said. "Now you have to drive more people into the category."

Greek yogurt now accounts for 46 percent of dollar sales of yogurt, according to Nielsen. In the year ended in November 2010 only one out of every 10 dollars was spent on Greek yogurt.

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Despite the slowing growth, James Russo, senior vice president of global consumer insights at Nielsen, said in a phone interview he doesn't "think we've hit the ceiling on Greek yogurt," as the category still has strong growth.

"We think the category should double if not triple," McGuinness said.