Skyr®: A modern Norwegian take on an old Icelandic tradition
TEXT: ANDRI PAPANICOLAS | PHOTOS: SKYR®
From being a simple, traditional, hand-made product from Iceland, to hitting the shelves all around the world, Skyr® is now an all-time favourite in Norway. Q-Meieriene brought Skyr® from Iceland to the Norwegian market and has for over a decade now been raising the bar in the world of yoghurt innovations.
Up until 2009, finding a healthy yoghurt on the Norwegian market could be a challenge. “Skyr® was the first brand to introduce a truly filling yoghurt, rich with nutrition. In addition to its unique product benefits, Skyr® also stood out on what could probably be described as an otherwise quite dull yoghurt shelf, with vibrant colours and unique cup shapes that broke with the established category language,” says product manager Michelle Bruåsdal Larsen.
Icelandic tradition with a Norwegian touch
The traditional Icelandic yoghurt contains a naturally high level of protein, is fat-free, low on sugar, and considered by many to be a perfect snack. It is made from skimmed milk, with natural sugars from milk and fruit.
The natural flavour is the most common across the world, but Q-Meieriene has found that Norwegians love to jazz things up, explains Bruåsdal Larsen. Q-Meieriene’s Skyr® started out with three different flavours back in 2009 and has now grown into a range of 21 flavours, including raspberry and panna cotta, coffee and vanilla, strawberry and lime, and salty caramel.
In addition to this, Skyr® has its own limited-edition series. Twice a year, consumers get to vote on their preferred flavour combinations, developed by Q-Meieriene and launched for a limited time before they are replaced with the fans’ next favourite.
This autumn, for the first time ever, Skyr® launched three different limited-edition versions. The newcomers are melon and passionfruit, raspberry and passionfruit, and peach and passionfruit – so it’s pretty obvious which flavour is the big, new trend there!
A strong brand open to new innovations
The Skyr® portfolio has been continuously expanded and optimised at the request of consumers. When consumers started asking about a child-friendly Skyr®, Q-Meieriene realised that there was a gap in the market for a nutritional yoghurt for kids, and as a result launched Skyr® Mini.
“Since its launch in 2015, Skyr® Mini has been, and still is, the healthiest yoghurt for children,” says Bruåsdal Larsen. “It comes in a practical pouch, which makes it super easy for children to eat and handle the yoghurt by themselves. Because of all these benefits, Skyr® Mini is one of the most popular brands for kids. It comes with five different flavours.”
Skyr® has also expanded its assortment by launching new products, such as Skyr® Luftig – a unique yoghurt whipped with air that gives it a completely different consistency, like a fluffy mousse. It is a consumer-driven innovation that was developed in response to a request from consumers who wanted a Skyr® mousse that felt even lighter. In 2020, when Nielsen’s BASES launched its list of the top 25 breakthrough innovations, it was ranked as one of the most innovative products in Europe.
The unique bond between Skyr® and its consumers
From the very beginning, Skyr® has been very successful with new launches, and Bruåsdal Larsen believes this is due to their close dialogue with consumers. “Consumer involvement is something Skyr® values highly. We want to make sure that consumers are heard and included in the innovation process,” she says. “Consumers are engaged and willing to share brutally honest feedback.”
In addition, they are more than willing to share their #skyrøyeblikk (‘skyrmoments’) on social media, contributing to a unique conversation between the brand and the consumers through online engagement.
It seems Skyr® is here to stay, and there’s certainly no doubt that the Icelandic yoghurt has made its way into the hearts of the Norwegian people.
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