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Ben & Jerry's launches new line of Greek frozen yogurt

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Ben & Jerry’s has graduated from Schweddy Balls and other ice cream flavors to a brand new line of icy sweets: Greek frozen yogurt.

The Vermont company revealed four new flavors – strawberry shortcake, raspberry fudge chunk, banana peanut butter and blueberry vanilla graham. The new product will be available nationwide in $4.39 pints as well as $1.29 mini-cup sizes for certain flavors.

Greek yogurt differs from standard yogurts in that more whey is strained out, leaving a thicker, creamier texture with more protein but fewer calories. Customers – mostly educated, high-income women – are devoted to the yogurt because it is perceived to be more filling than a snack as well as natural and healthful.

Its growth has been among the fastest ever in the food and beverage industry. In each of the last three years, sales of Greek yogurt have boomed more than 100%, while non-Greek yogurt has crept along at single-digit speed, according to The Nielsen Co. In 2008 alone, Chobani’s sales soared 2,812%.

Greek yogurt now hauls in more than $1 billion in revenue a year – about a quarter of total yogurt sales, according to a report from Citigroup Global Markets. Chobani dominates the Greek yogurt market with 53% of total share, with Fage claiming 17%, Danone with 14% and General Mills' Yoplait Greek with 5%, Citigroup said.

“It’s nice to have a wholesome indulgence that fits within my personal eating habits and tastes great,” said Kristen Schimoler, 25, a Ben & Jerry’s flavor developer.

Ben & Jerry’s is known for its ice cream, including options such as Chubby Hubby and Phish Food.

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