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UK Skyr War Heats Up

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UK Skyr War Heats Up

Skyr with berries

Photo: Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir.

“Hello everyone. Sorry for the late reply - the time difference here in Höfn makes it difficult for me sometimes,” is part of a Facebook answer from Arla Skyr. “I can confirm this is the same Skyr you found when you traveled to my wonderful homeland.”

The untrue statement above came in response to a question from a British woman about whether or not Arla Skyr is in fact the real Icelandic skyr she tasted while visiting the country. It is also worth noting that the time difference between Iceland (including the village of Höfn) and Britain is only an hour in the summer, and nothing at all in the winter, Vísir points out.

The Facebook thread has attracted comments from a lot of Icelanders—mostly admonishing Arla for pretending to be Icelandic.

Among those commenting was Jón Axel Pétursson, director of sales and marketing at MS Iceland Dairies. He writes that Arla Skyr is not Icelandic, and asks where exactly in the village of Höfn the Arla factory is. “Because nobody in Höfn, which is a small town in Iceland, is aware that you are staying there.”

“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,” he adds.

Those who have tasted the version of skyr generally report it tastes very authentic compared to MS brands skyr.is and KEA skyr. The main problem Icelanders seem to have is not with the existence of the product, but that it is deliberately blurring the line between celebrating skyr’s Icelandic heritage and claiming to actually be from Iceland.

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