NEW YORK – Five years ago the only people who knew about Greek yogurt usually had a great recipe for tzatziki sauce and wore a babushka. These days it is seen being eaten on public transportation by iPod wearing health conscious hipsters as they hum Adele tunes in between the slurping of each delicious spoonful of their single serve passion-fruit infused yogurt. Greek yogurt. America has been buying the Greek stuff, yet Greece remained teetering on financial ruin. That all changed on Monday when it was announced Greece would get a bail-out funded primarily from the sale of Greek yogurt worldwide.
Greece has been claiming they are responsible for creating all things Greek, including Greek yogurt, and are entitled to a share of the drachmas or euros or dollars being made by those companies now manufacturing the cultured dairy product.
Demitri Rubens, public relations head at Chobani, the number one greek yogurt manufacturer in the United States, responded to the decision with a belch. “Smell that?” he asked “That’s a gyro I had two days ago. Greece has not claimed royalties on gyros, Greek salads or feta cheese, so why is Chobani and others producing Greek yogurt now obligated to support an entire country. They can kiss my spanakopita. We intend to appeal”.
Greek yogurt is made from sheeps milk and much more nutritious than the standard cows milk version. For generations Greeks have had a special bond with sheep, yet the sheep making the Chobani Greek yogurt are all-American and most are celibate.
Oikos, the Stonyfield Farm version, recruited Greek-American John Stamos (Stamatopoulos) to appear in their television commercial. “Did they forget Nia Vardalos?” asked Vassilis Kaskarelis, Greek Ambassador to the United States. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding healed a nation, yet John Stamatopoulos represents Greeks for Greek yogurt? Mercifully Bob Saget is not Greek.”
Jamie Lee Curtis, spokesperson for Activia likely will not hawk sales for the recently introduced “Activa Greek”. Parent company Dannon expects to use a different campaign. In current commercials Curtis asks Activa eaters to track bowel function through video diaries which has proven punishing to those reviewing submissions. Bifidus Regularis, the active ingredient in Activa’s colon cleansing feature, has been creating full toilets in America, making a compelling argument for Activas effectiveness, but compiled video produced a commercial that has caused nausea with test audiences. Only FX is willing to air it.
The White House is hoping they can use that same strategy that proved successful for Greece to cash in on sales of cheeseburgers outside of the United States. Initially the administration targeted pancakes, but learned it was the Dutch who created them. So cheeseburgers it is with corn dogs to follow if they are successful. Now if they can convince the rest of the world that obesity and clogged colons are for everybody, not just Americans, we too may see an economic bail-out in our future.