Has Chobani Found the Pumpkin Spice of Springtime?

Seasonal flavors in two different formats.

By Ethan L. Johns
May 11, 2018

Image: Chobani

What is the recipe for success when it comes to turning a flavor into a phenomenon? Is pumpkin spice a million-dollar flavor because it took a once-a-year squash and turned it into an everyday obsession? Or is deliciousness enough to spark a trend?

In the search for an answer, Chobani last month released its limited-edition Strawberry Rhubarb Greek yogurt. Available in two formats—the simple “fruit on the bottom” cup and the Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake “Flip” packaging, with graham cracker bits and frosting chunks—the brand hopes to hit on new flavor fame that will inspire spring and summertime trends for years to come.

You could argue that rhubarb, like pumpkin, is a curious plant. We'll just say that neither would likely be the first thing you'd pick from the produce section. Yet it’s common enough when paired with strawberry to be craved in pies and jams. Read: compellingly mysterious.

The Genius Kitchen team was able to taste test both of the snacks, and found them to scream the season. After the gnarliest of East Coast winters, garden-forward goodies were just what we needed.

The first of the Strawberry Rhubarb fruit on the bottom cups were subtly sweet to the point where we needed a bit more sugar. Yet, mixing another the next morning, the proportion of fruit to dairy magically increased. We chalked the first one up to an uneven batch, and went back for seconds.

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The Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake Flips featured a pre-blended yogurt that was smoother and sweeter. With the graham cracker crumbs and frosting bits, we imagined it as a light, portable solution to summer barbecue desserts.

The GK team was also given samples of Chobani’s blended watermelon yogurt and its blended pineapple coconut yogurts. With the former, we tasted an ethereal wisp of fresh watermelon on the tongue and an aftertaste that grows, while the latter was pure Coco Lopez piña colada.

So will strawberry rhubarb, as the brand hopes, wind up as the inspiration for “scented candles, lip balms and car fresheners,” too? Depends on how much you’re obsessed with it. Let us know if you think it has what it takes to become a seasonal star.

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Got a smokin' hot tip? Contact the GK News Desk at gkeditteam@gmail.com with story ideas.

About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns