I’ve hit upon an idea to save Greece from its financial crisis. Well, maybe not complete salvation, but hear me out.
The Greeks say they’re chafing under the austerity that has been imposed on them. Seems to me that what would help is some new revenue.
To accomplish that, Greece should charge a licensing fee to every yogurt company that uses the word “Greek” to describe their product. The euros would be rolling in, because Greek yogurt is selling like mad these days.
Greek yogurt now accounts for more than 50 percent of the yogurt market in the United States. Often, it is the only style of yogurt I see in the store. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you.
According to the most recent figures I could find, Fage, which as far as I can tell makes almost exclusively Greek-style yogurt, has nearly $575 million in annual sales. For Dannon (aka Danone), their Oikos brand of Greek yogurt was in the top 3 in terms of contribution to growth, with a reported €11 billion in annual sales of dairy products and “several years of robust growth [in the U.S.] powered by the Greek yogurt segment.”
Anyway, with all this marketing of Greek this and Greek that, it seems to me that poor little Greece should be benefiting. I’d be willing to add a penny to the price of yogurt if it would put a little cash in Greece’s pocket.
Royalties as a percentage of sales is extremely common under intellectual properly law. In fact, the royalty rates customarily go up as sales increase–and we know sales of Greek yogurt are increasing. I say we start at 5% and go from there. It may not be the whole solution, but it couldn’t hurt.
I must confess that I don’t actually buy that much yogurt with the word “Greek” on the label. My favorite brand of strained yogurt is the Icelandic-style Siggi’s.
But I’m not opposed to sending a few pennies to Iceland either.