May 13 2004
Colombo Yogurt – First U.S. Yogurt Brand – Celebrates 75 Years;
Colombo Takes Yogurt from a Small Kitchen in Andover, Mass., to
Kitchens across America
MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 13, 2004–Just a glance at the
yogurt case in any grocery store and it’s easy to see how significant
the business of yogurt has become in America. As Colombo Yogurt
celebrates its 75th anniversary this month, Colombo also celebrates
75 years since the introduction of yogurt to America.
Although yogurt had been enjoyed for centuries in the Middle East, it
made its American debut through an immigrant family business on a
small Massachusetts farm in 1929. In the years since, yogurt has
since become a staple in households nationwide. In fact, according to
a recent survey conducted by Colombo Yogurt, nearly three in four
American adults eats yogurt at least once per week.
The introduction of Colombo Yogurt in 1929 gave Americans their first
taste of yogurt and 75 years later, the popularity of yogurt
continues to grow. In the last three years alone, the yogurt category
has grown 31 percent(1) and in 2003, 72 percent of households
“In the last few years people have been discovering that yogurt isn’t
just a breakfast food or a snack, it’s a versatile ingredient that
can take a leading or supporting roll in any meal — any time of
day,” said TV celebrity chef and James Beard Award-winning cookbook
author Alton Brown.
The $2.7 billion(3) American yogurt industry started over a
wood-burning stove at the Andover home of Rose and Sarkis
Colombosian. Soon, as Colombo & Sons Creamery, the Colombosians along
with sons Bob and John were hand-filling Rose’s Armenian family
recipe into 8-ounce glass jars and distributing their product
throughout the Northeast in a horse-drawn wagon.
Remaining relatively small until the early 1960s when the health
benefits of yogurt gained a larger following, Colombo & Sons grew
from a family business to a leader in the yogurt industry. Modern
machinery replaced the old wood stove, and a fleet of refrigerated
trucks replaced the horse-drawn wagon. Though changes were made, what
has not changed in 75 years is Colombo Yogurt’s quality, delicious
flavor assortment and 8-ounce serving size.
“For 75 years our loyal customers have confidently shared Colombo
Yogurt with future generations because it has stayed true to its
original quality even when we added new varieties,” said Bob
Colombosian, member of Colombo’s founding family. “I wish my parents
were still around to see the incredible growth of Colombo Yogurt and
what we have achieved in 75 years – I know they would be proud.”
Purchased by General Mills in 1993, Colombo continues to be a leader
in the American yogurt industry.
“We have the utmost respect for the Colombosian family and the rich
heritage of Colombo Yogurt,” said Doug Pritchard, marketing manager
for Colombo Yogurt at General Mills. “Starting in 1929, Colombo set
the standard for what consumers expect from American yogurt and we’re
pleased to mark this exciting milestone to celebrate how far Colombo
has come and what it means to the families that enjoy it.”
Today, Colombo Yogurt comes in two varieties, Colombo Classic and
Colombo Light, a wide range of flavors, and two packaging
configurations, the most popular of which is Colombo’s original
8-ounce container. The recent survey commissioned by Colombo about
yogurt preferences confirmed that the majority of yogurt-buying
consumers prefer Colombo’s 8-ounce serving size rather than the
6-ounce size produced by most yogurt manufacturers.
In honor of its 75th anniversary, Colombo has created new television
advertising featuring Bob Colombosian and his wife, Alice,
spokespeople for the brand since 2001. The ads will run in select
markets in the Northeast starting in June.
About Colombo Yogurt
In 1929, Sarkis and Rose Colombosian made the first batch of Colombo
Yogurt in their Andover kitchen using a family recipe. Soon, they
were selling it across the Northeast, making Colombo the first yogurt
sold in America. Now, 75 years later, Colombo is still selling yogurt
throughout the Northeast and takes pride in its Massachusetts
heritage. Colombo offers both 8-ounce cups and 32-ounce containers
and is owned by Minnesota-based General Mills. Visit
for more information.
Underwritten by Colombo Yogurt, Opinion Research Corporation
conducted the yogurt consumption survey by telephone from March
12-15, 2004, interviewing a national probability sample of 1,024
adults 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the
continental United States. The margin of error is plus or minus three
percentage points for the entire sample and four percentage points
for yogurt consumers.
(1) AC Nielsen, US 2MM+, 2000-2003
(2) AC Nielsen Panel Facts, Total US, 2000-2003
(3) AC Nielsen, US 2MM+, 52 weeks ending 3/27/04, excluding Wal-Mart
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress