Chobani says it is investing $100 million in its Greek yogurt plant in Twin Falls to make new products.
The New York-based company said Wednesday that it has hired nearly 100 employees in the past six months to help it launch a line of dips and yogurt drinks. Chobani said its hires bring its Idaho head count to more than 1,000.
Chobani says the plant is already the largest yogurt factory in the world. It will get bigger over the next year, with a global-research and development center, new offices, new and expanded production lines, and an employee cafeteria, the company said.
Chobani is converting three production lines to make “Flip” yogurt cups with toppings that the company says are its fastest-growing product line. Two production lines will be added, including a bulk line for food-service customers in schools, hotels, airlines and restaurants.
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The Twin Falls plant also will begin distributing to new markets in the coming months, including Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Chobani says it controls 19 percent of the yogurt market and 36 percent of the Greek yogurt market in the U.S.
Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya said the Twin Falls expansion shows the company picked wisely in making Idaho its second home.
“Our success in Idaho and New York is an example to all makers across the country of the power and strength of U.S. manufacturing,” Ulukaya said in a news release.
Chobani spent $450 million to build the 1 million-square-foot Twin Falls plant in 2013 and has since worked with the nearby College of Southern Idaho as the school developed its food-processing technology program.
The company said it will not receive incentives or tax breaks from Idaho or local governments for the expansion.