The FAGE Story
In 1926, Athanassios Filippou opened a small dairy shop on 213 Patision Street in Athens, Greece. At the time, the shop’s location was part of the countryside and only had a single train station nearby. Little by little, as travelers would come and go, Filippou’s store became known for its delicious, creamy, one-of-a-kind yogurt.
With great care and passion, Athanassios nurtured the business and his authentic Greek strained yogurt recipe. He brought in his sons, Iaonnis and Kyriakos, and thus, a family business named FAGE (pronounced “fa-yeh”) was born.
FAGE (pronounced “fa-yeh”) has come a long way since its humble beginnings. In fact, it’s now Greece’s leading yogurt company and operates three production facilities in Greece.
Early FAGE in Greece
In 1954, under the guidance of his father and FAGE founder Athanassios, Ioannis Filippou helped to create the first wholesale distribution network for yogurt in Greece. By 1964, Ioannis and his brother Kyriakos opened the company’s first yogurt production facility in Galatsi, Athens.
From our inception until the mid-1970s, FAGE was involved primarily in the small-scale production and distribution of traditional Greek yogurt. During that time, retail outlets typically sold yogurt as a commodity product in bulk quantities, and the consumer often was unaware of the manufacturer. However, in 1975, when the FAGE yogurt plant was relocated from Galatsi to Metamorfosi, Athens in Attica, we were the first company to introduce branded yogurt products to the Greek market. These products, which carried the FAGE trademark, were sold in smaller, sealed tubs and presented in attractively designed packaging — very similar to the same design we use today.
From our roots as a local Athens dairy producer, we expanded throughout Greece, as well as internationally. We began exporting yogurt to the United Kingdom in 1983, followed by Italy and many other countries. Exports to the United States started in 1998, and we continue to enjoy growth in these countries and many others, all around the world.
FAGE has come a long way from its humble beginnings. In fact, FAGE is now Greece’s leading yogurt company and operates three production facilities in Greece.
In 2006, Athanassios Filippou, son of Ioannis Filippou, became our chief executive officer, and his brother Dimitrios Filippou became vice-chairman. In 2010, Athanassios-Kyros Filippou, son of Kyriakos, became our chairman. Ioannis and Kyriakos remain as lifelong honorary chairmen and non-executive directors.
FAGE in the U.S.
FAGE began exporting Total yogurt to the United States in 1998. In June 2000, we established the subsidiary FAGE USA Corp. to import and further promote FAGE Total in the U.S. Once people started tasting our authentic Greek strained yogurt with its famous taste and texture, demand started to grow. After only four years of sales in the U.S., and with sales of over 2,000 tons of imported yogurt in 2004, we saw an opportunity. So, in February 2005, the decision was made to build a state-of-the-art production facility for FAGE Total in Johnstown, New York, and to manufacture our products in the United States.
The 220,000-square-foot plant is located in Johnstown Industrial Park, 200 miles north of New York City. We invested $200 million into creating a highly-automated, state-of-the-art plant that would allow us to make our authentic recipe, but at the same time use technology to achieve the highest standards of hygiene and safety. The U.S. FAGE plant currently has over 250 full-time employees, who, by way of two production shifts, work around the clock to craft our famous yogurt.
Currently, FAGE yogurt is distributed in many specialty and natural—food stores, including supermarket chains across the country. It’s our hope that wherever FAGE Total is introduced, it will get into the hearts and stomachs of Americans the way it has enraptured ours for the past 85 years.
With our 85-plus years of history, FAGE is dedicated to this vision: to be a dairy company that contributes, through continuous development of innovative and high-quality products, to the balanced nutrition and healthy lives of our consumers around the world.
Milestones in FAGE’s history
1926: Opening of Athanassios Filippou’s dairy at 213 Patision Street.
1954: Ioannis Filippou, FAGE’s honorary chairman to this day, enters the family business and helps to create the first wholesale distribution network for yogurt.
1964: Establishment of the yogurt plant in Galatsi by brothers Ioannis and Kyriakos Filippou.
1975: FAGE’s move to the Metamorfosi, Athens plant where Total, the first standardized and branded Greek yogurt, is produced.
1983: Exports start. First market: United Kingdom.
1991: Entry into the cheese category.
1993: Entry into the milk category.
2008: Opening of the yogurt production plant in the U.S.