19/01/2016

News: Skyr in the UK

Skyr produced by Arla has been available in several flavour varieties (including natural) in the UK since the middle of last year. How I managed to miss this, I don't know, because this kind of news usually makes headlines in the Icelandic media (we are that proud of our skyr). It's possible the news has been ignored here because the skyr in question is not produced in Iceland. 


Iceland failed to acquire a protected designation of origin for skyr and therefore anyone can use the term, even if the product doesn't really conform to the traditional definition of skyr. I am in no way implying that this is what Arla has done, but it has been implied that certain other producers are making yogurt, thickening it with rennet and calling it skyr.


However, MS Iceland Dairies (Mjólkursamsalan in Icelandic), has now started producing skyr for export to the UK. It will, to begin with, be available in Waitrose supermarkets in and around London as of February 8. I'd be interested - when the time comes - to hear from someone who has done a taste comparison of MS skyr and Arla skyr.

2 comments:

schnee said...

Arla's product has been available in Germany since at least summer 2015 as well. The flavored varieties are indistinguishable from yoghurt; the unflavored kind is closer to Icelandic skyr, but still not quite the same. It's disappointing, doubly so given that Arla is marketing their product very hard.

A while ago I saw skyr drinks in one supermarket here, too, produced by Thise Mejeri of Denmark under license from MS -- really wish they'd also sell MS's regular skyr, though, especially the small tubs with the spoon in the lid.

And then there's íþróttasúrmjólk, which I'm also missing badly.

Out of curiosity, any word on why the PDO application was denied?

Bibliophile said...

Than you for your comment, Schnee. I can't remember why there isn't a PDO. I'm not even sure Iceland ever actually applied for one or just researched it and decided not to bother, but I have heard two explanations. Both are hearsay, supported by what I know about PDOs. One is that it was too hard to prove this was a strictly regional speciality and the other that the name had already begin to be used in other countries and was therefore considered to be too generic. Either way, it's a shame. Mind you, I am no lover of MS, but I would have thought that MS and KEA (the other big producer) together could have managed to get it registered.