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Siggi's Skyr Going Nationwide

By Errol Schweizer, July 23, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Errol Schweizer
Siggi\ I get to see a lot of cool products in my job. One of the coolest products we are currently carrying at Whole Foods Market is Siggi's Skyr. Not only is it a great yogurt but the back story is awesome. Skyr is Icelandic-style yogurt, a traditional delicacy that is thicker and higher in protein than most yogurts. It is made from skim milk and has almost no fat. Think Greek yogurt that has adapted to survive harsh arctic winters … hardier and refreshingly sour, with 16 grams of protein, zero saturated fat and just 120 calories per 6 oz serving. Siggi Hilmarsson grew up in Iceland and was homesick one holiday season a few years ago. He had grown up hearing about his grandmother's skyr and decided to try his hand at making some of his own. In 2006, he started selling his own brand of skyr. I first heard about Siggi's skyr when I was the grocery coordinator in the Northeast region and a frequent visitor to the downtown NYC farmer's markets and cheese shops, where Siggi had premiered his creation. It soon ended up on my desk during a new item meeting with one of our dairy distributors. I loved the hand labeled package, the simple list of ingredients, including the agave nectar used for sweetness, and that he used five distinct bacterial cultures. Carrying his product was a no-brainer, but Siggi did not yet have capacity to supply us, so we had to wait. SiggiIn the meantime, Siggi partnered with some dairy farmers in upstate New York to produce more skyr. Upstate New York is a legendary region for milk products, with a true sense of terroir and a history of sustainable dairy production that goes back to the colonial era. Siggi was able to find some like-minded farmers whose hormone- and antibiotic-free milk would be ideal for such an artisanal product. Consistent with his locavore and eco-friendly tendencies, Siggi also started using yogurt cups with 50% less plastic, packed in a recyclable cardboard sleeve. Once Siggi was ready, we decided to launch his products in several dozen stores on the east coast. The response was overwhelming and Siggi had a hard time keeping up with demand. In fact, he had to build a whole new production line to supply our skyr-hungry customers! Despite sporadic supply issues, sales were huge and the legend of Siggi's Skyr spread westward. Our regional buyers have a lot of autonomy in selecting what goes on our shelves, and they keep an eye on what's moving in other parts of the country. When they spot a hit, they work to pick it up and bring it to their customer base. And that's what has happened with Siggi's Skyr. And so, starting this month, Siggi's Skyr will be available in most Whole Foods Markets nationwide, in six fantastic flavors and two convenient sizes. From a downtown farmer's market to national distribution, Siggi's is a real life example of how Whole Foods Market and our great producers are working together to bring the best stuff to our customers.

 

48 Comments

Comments

Dee says ...
Yea!!!! I live in CA but have travelled the country looking for Skyrr in Whole Foods stores! Thanks!
07/23/2009 7:41:23 AM CDT
Rachel says ...
Saw this on WF Twitter...I must say I have never heard of Icelandic yogurt before, but now my fingers are itching to snatch the car keys and go to the nearest Whole Foods! You had me at "Think Greek yogurt that has adapted to survive harsh arctic winters…"
07/24/2009 11:13:03 AM CDT
laura says ...
does it have gelatin as an ingredient? Gelatin = ewww.
07/24/2009 12:43:39 PM CDT
Brian says ...
How about carrying Taro Yogurberry? It's been super popular here in the South.
07/24/2009 12:47:51 PM CDT
Stella says ...
I am originally from Iceland and request Skyrr from every relative that comes and visits and live on it when I go there. I am the most excited person on Earth right now!!
07/24/2009 2:11:14 PM CDT
Anna says ...
Siggi's skyr has only been available for three weeks in LA but I've already bought dozens of cups. It's such a perfect morning snack for work. It also goes perfectly with the WF granola.
07/24/2009 6:01:34 PM CDT
Christine says ...
I live in LA but have been lucky enough to try Siggi's Skyr. He brought samples to a mutual friend's house while in town a few years ago. Good stuff, and I look forward to being a paying customer!
07/24/2009 6:55:31 PM CDT
Astrid Harrisson says ...
I have just returned from Iceland where the day was not complete without a pot or two of Skyr yoghurt. Sadly I visited Kensington's (London) Whole Foods Store yesterday to find the Skyr I was told it sold...only I was informed it was no longer stocked! Please bring Skyr back to London - I have already spread the word!
07/25/2009 10:32:52 AM CDT
Greg says ...
Having just returned from Iceland a couple days ago we made a trip to Whole Foods to get Skyr, which of course we loved in Iceland. However, this is not the same as in Iceland, it is dramatically different. We couldn't get enough of this delicious stuff in Iceland, but we could barely stomach the putrid version we got from Whole Foods. Heck...it is as bad as hakarl!
07/26/2009 9:20:12 AM CDT
hsiaw says ...
@laura Nope, there is no gelatin in this product!
07/27/2009 9:01:45 AM CDT
Rachael says ...
I love Siggi's! It's thick and filling and goes perfectly with my morning granola! Delicious! Best yogurt I've had yet!
07/27/2009 10:36:25 AM CDT
jessica says ...
i LOVE siggi's!!!! i buy a new yogurt-type product just about everytime i'm at the grocery--always seeking that perfect one. this has become IT! thanks for carrying siggi's in atlanta.
07/27/2009 9:51:58 PM CDT
Gesine says ...
I love this new yoghurt product! It reminds me to a kind of Quark which is a speciality product of Germany, my homecountry.
08/01/2009 10:33:43 PM CDT
Ellen says ...
Thank you Whole Foods! I just read about Skyr today (on the Weight Watchers web site) and jumped to the Whole Foods site to see if you had it. I'm going to check out the Jacksonville FL store today and request it if I can't find it. I'm on a regimen of killer antibiotics for an infection and need all the bacteria I can get - and tasty, if you please. Can't wait to try Skyr.
08/03/2009 12:23:22 PM CDT
Caroline says ...
I just got back from Iceland a couple days ago and I fell in love with Skyrr. I had no idea about the nutritional contents, so it's a plus to find out it's good for you! Upon my return to the states, I made my first trip to the market (Whole Foods, in San Francisco) and to my delight, a product tagged as "new" in the dairy section was Siggi Skyr!!! Skyr is about $0.70 in Iceland, vs. the $2.25 (ish) in Whole Foods, but it's worth it to have that in the states! It's slightly different in taste from what you find in Iceland, but still different from other yogurts.
08/06/2009 12:30:55 PM CDT
Bob says ...
In order to produce enough for nationwide distribution, I wonder if Siggi makes his own skyr or is he having some larger corporation make it for him now? Anyone know?
08/07/2009 12:43:27 PM CDT
Colorado Tom says ...
Delighted to read this. I've visited Iceland and have been very disapointed that I cannot find Skyr here. I'll be heading back to our local Whole Foods promptly to see if they have any (and to ask for it if they don't).
08/16/2009 11:00:25 PM CDT
Janet says ...
I have tried about every yogurt I could get except this one. I look forward to trying it.
08/28/2009 10:20:38 PM CDT
Vicki says ...
YEAH - we fell in love with Iceland and became addicted to Skyr while over there this summer - living here in Florida we were told no Skyr - but thanks to Whole Foods - we get to indulge our addiction. If you have not tried it - it is a must. Blows Greek Yogurt out of the water!
09/01/2009 9:48:03 AM CDT
Victoria says ...
Ever since I saw the Iceland episode of Bizarre Foods, I've wanted to try skyr. Contrary to what everyone seems to be saying, skyr is closer to cheese than to yogurt, but no matter. A couple of weeks ago, I finally ran across Siggi's and had to try it. Unfortunately, the only available flavor was ginger orange. I have to say, the texture seemed to be grainier than yogurt, and it wasn't as pleasurable to the palette to me as Greek yogurt. Maybe it was just the flavor, a little too tart for me. Regardless, I'm willing to give the brand the benefit of the doubt and try another flavor, preferably plain, with perhaps some tupelo honey. On a scale of 1 to 5 I give it a 3.5.
09/04/2009 8:09:31 PM CDT
Rebecca says ...
Discovered Siggi's at our Raleigh WFs after returning from Iceland back in the winter. Not only does it taste better than the skyr I had in Iceland, but for me as a diabetic a good option since it is not full of sugar and sweetened with agave nectar. Orange-Ginger is my favorite, but the Grapefruit is a close second.
09/07/2009 8:46:53 AM CDT
Jackie says ...
I _love_ Skyr yogurt - I just bought it last week for the first time. Its like greek yogurt but much better. It is thick and creamy and comes in great flavors. My favorites are orange and ginger, and grapefruit. I've been looking for orange yogurt for the longest time and both the above flavors satisfy my cravings. Yeah - go wholefoods.
09/17/2009 3:19:01 PM CDT
Artemis says ...
I was so excited that Skyr was available at Whole Foods, as I have been longing for it ever since I went to Iceland and got hooked on this delicious treat. However, I was very disappointed when I brought home four different Siggi's Skyr flavors. The first one was absolutely awful - I looked and the expiration date was close but not past. The other three had much later expiration dates, but one was just tolerable, not that good and more chalky / less creamy than the Skyr we had in Iceland, and the other two were runny and horrible. I don't know if this was just a bad bunch of batches, but I am very sad that my experience of this product was much lower in quality than the Skyr I fell in love with in Iceland. I really wanted to love it, too, since I grew up in Upstate New York and was inspired by Siggi's story.
10/12/2009 1:31:22 PM CDT
Regie says ...
Just bought Siggi's Vanilla and Plan Skyr and I am now a skyr addict! I love the sour tang. Who would think these products are fat free, amazingly good stuff!
10/15/2009 10:48:07 AM CDT
Marie says ...
Just tried Siggi's Skyr two days ago. Loved the Vanilla so much, I trekked 30 minutes back to Whole Foods to get some more. I do not agree that it's more like a cheese, but no matter, the thick, practically sliceable texture is phenomenal! American tastes may need to adjust, as we are so used to excess sweetener added to everything. If you find many yogurts to be too sicky sweet, you'll love this stuff. I found the flavor to be excellent - tangy and clean. This is going to become a daily staple for many of us, especially those who need to keep the sugar to a minimum. Note to Whole Foods in Roseville, CA, please stock more! Thank you, Whole Foods, Iceland and Siggi!
10/19/2009 11:15:00 PM CDT

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