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Why Coca-Cola Needs to Buy a Stake in Chobani


NEW YORK ( The Street) -- For Coca-Cola (KO - Get Report) , the time may be finally ripe to embrace selling more than sugary soda and other beverages.

According to a report from Reuters, PepsiCo (PEP - Get Report) and Coca-Cola are competing to potentially invest in Greek yogurt maker Chobani. A deal could value Chobani at as much as $3 billion. Chobani is looking for a strategic investor to help expand its supply chain, distribution, manufacturing base and geographic footprint for its newer yogurts such as Flip, which comes in a container with crunchy toppings.

A Coca-Cola spokesman declined to comment specifically on the Chobani rumors.

Chobani boasts more than one-third of the U.S. market share for Greek yogurt, according to data tracking firm Nielsen. So far this year, Chobani has added products such as "Peanut Butter Dream," its take on a Reese's peanut butter cup, and "Strawberry Summer Crisp," a flavor that resembles a bite into a strawberry shortcake. The company has added oats to its yogurt in a bid to appeal to fans of cold cereal and oatmeal.

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