Case Study: How we worked with our first brand partner, Chobani

From concept to reality

To take UNSTUCK from concept to reality, we partnered with leading food maker, Chobani to develop our first co-branded UNSTUCK product - the delicious Chobani® & UNSTUCK™ Greek Yogurt Mango & Cream. This is how we did it:

1. Finding the right ingredients and suppliers

As a first step, we worked with Chobani’s procurement and product development teams to identify products in their pipeline requiring ingredients that could be sourced from Colombia or Peru. Mango was the clear winner! The product the team had in mind required two types of mango. Chobani was already sourcing one of them from a supplier in Colombia - CEA, for the other, we found a world-class fruit processor in Peru -  Mebol.

2. Connecting suppliers and our NGO partners to develop hiring programs

CEA is a purpose-driven business that actively recruits from all underserved communities in Colombia. They were already looking into employing Venezuelan refugees, but had run into a few challenges setting up a hiring program to do so. So we introduced them to CUSO - one of Tent’s NGO partners that is active in the region where CEA operates. The two organizations are now working together to reach a three-year goal of hiring one hundred Venezuelan employees, and have successfully recruited and onboarded fourteen Venezuelan workers since they started in January.

“While we considered hiring Venezuelan refugees in the past, we were unsure how to go about it and how to successfully integrate them alongside our Colombian workers. By joining UNSTUCK, we were able to work with the UNSTUCK team to find refugee talent in Colombia and quickly bring them into our company. Hiring Venezuelans means we can help them restart their lives in Colombia, but it’s also good for our business - they are committed workers, and they bring diversity to our teams. We’re excited to continue to work with more brands joining the UNSTUCK coalition, while continuing to make a positive impact on our community.”

Sergio Karagumechian, General Manager of CEA

Growing with UNSTUCK

In Peru, Mebol employs nearly three hundred Venezuelan refugees in their processing facilities in Lima, but are now building their program to include a broader set of skills and employment opportunities. They are working with HIAS on this - another Tent NGO partner - that has operations in Lima.

Our NGO partners work closely with suppliers throughout the recruitment process to identify common challenges to hiring, and together they develop solutions to overcome them. Additionally, they help to embed these practices into the company’s operations. Suppliers work with us and our NGO partners to reach yearly refugee hiring goals. With the ongoing orders our brand partners make (at hopefully increasing volumes) our suppliers have a clear incentive to achieve these goals, and to grow their workforce overall.


3. Bringing the product to market

Once the supplier relationships were in place, we worked with teams across Chobani - from marketing and comms through to legal and sales - to plan the best way to bring the UNSTUCK product to consumers.


4. Proof is in the pudding yogurt

By partnering with Chobani to develop this first product, we were able to prove out the UNSTUCK concept and model. Everything that was done to develop and launch the product was a part of Chobani’s day-to-day business, without any additional resources or investment (beyond a little patience working with us yogurt newbies!). Best of all, Chobani’s new product is already making an impact on Venezuelans who are now able to put down roots and restart their lives in their new communities.


Now that we have our “proof of concept” our goal is to get more brands on board, and more refugees employed. If you’re a brand or supplier that is interested in learning more, or have ideas for potential brand partners - please get in touch info@unstuck.org

“We've always been a company with heart & soul. This new product, while absolutely delicious, is innovative in its supply chain design. This is not a charity-product -- we are not making a donation -- but instead the purchase of the product inherently provides jobs for refugees working at our fruit suppliers. UNSTUCK has the potential to make a meaningful impact on the refugee crisis, so the more brands that come on board, the bigger the impact we can make together.”

Niel Sandfort, Chobani’s Chief Innovation Officer.