The Icelandic yogurt-like skyr, a national delicacy, makes its debut today in 28 of 129 Whole Foods Market grocery stores in the US reports Morgunbladid. It is expected that 2- 3 tons of the high protein, fat-free pasteurized milk product will be sold in the US each week.
Since settlement skyr is said to have been to be an irreplaceable staple of the Icelandic diet. Some believe that the Icelandic nation owes its very existence to skyr. Skyr was a known in Iceland’s neighboring countries centuries ago but currently is only being made in Iceland.
Over the years with increased health awareness skyr has grown in popularity on the home market.
Two groups, with distinct marketing philosophies, are currently working on exporting skyr internationally. The first group, Átak, believes the Icelandic milk to be the secret ingredient in skyr, “Research has proven that milk from Icelandic cows is much different than other cows” says Baldvin Jónsson, CEO of Áform, to Morgunbladid. “For example the Icelandic milk is thought to be a factor in the lower incidences of diabetes among Icelandic children than in children of some other countries.” This group wants to export skyr made in Iceland.
The second group, Agrice, believes that the best way to bring skyr to the international market is to produce it in factories abroad with Icelandic recipes and techniques. Skúli Bödvarsson,CEO of Agrice, told Morgunbladid that contracts have already been signed with a dairy in Jutland in Denmark and with Kingdom Cheese in Scotland. “We will export as much skyr from Iceland as we can handle but the international markets are much bigger than we can serve. We will produce skyr internationally from recipes from the milk industry here and receive royalties,” said Skúli.
Skúli says that skyr will be introduced to the British market in the beginning of 2006.