MS Iceland Dairies, the de facto dairy monopoly, last week released an animated video mocking the producers of Arla Skyr. As was reported last month, Arla Skyr was caught in an Icelandic media storm after responding to a question on its official Facebook page, that asked whether Arla Skyr was the same skyr the asker had tasted on her trip to Iceland.
Arla Skyr began the response by apologizing for the late reply claiming that “the time difference here in Höfn makes it difficult for me sometimes,” and then adding “I can confirm this is the same Skyr you found when you traveled to my wonderful homeland.”
Jón Axel Pétursson, director of sales and marketing at MS Iceland Dairies, was one of those who called Arla Skyr out on the fictitious claim, commenting on the Facebook thread: “How about being honest to your consumers in the UK and tell them the truth: this is not an Icelandic skyr that you are selling in the UK. It’s a yogurt that is produced in Germany and has nothing to do with the real Icelandic skyr.”
In the video advertisement from MS, an anthropomorphic pot of Skyr.is, MS’s signature brand, encounters and attempts to converse with a cup of Arla Skyr. After Arla Skyr returns Skyr.is’ enthusiastic “halló, halló” with a meek Danish “hej,” he asks her: “Arla, what an unusual name, are you from the East of Iceland or something?”—a reference to the false claim that Arla Skyr is based in Höfn, a town on the southeastern coast of Iceland.
Confused Arla Skyr then asks Skyr.is: “hvad for noget?,” Danish for “what?,” before switching to English and asking Skyr.is: “excuse me, do you speak English?” Once he affirms, that yes, he does speak English, she tells him “I am Skyr.”
“You mean Sk-y-r,” Skyr.is corrects her. “Yes Skyr,” Arla Skyr repeats, attempting to emphasize the “eh” sound of the Icelandic ‘y’ and rolling the ‘r.’ “No Skyr! S – K – Y – R,” he responds, spelling out the word with Icelandic phonetics.
Arla Skyr makes several more attempts at pronouncing the word, as Skyr.is laughs and jumps out of the frame saying: “Yogurt pretending to be Skyr, typical!”
Several people have pointed out on social media that since Skyr.is does not contain rennet, it is not a cheese, and so technically a type of strained yogurt rather than traditional skyr, making the commercial appear somewhat hypocritical.