Live Naturally recently caught up with the folks at siggi’s yogurt, makers of Icelandic-style yogurt (aka skyr) to learn more about how the company started and what makes their yogurt different from others.

Please share a brief background on how the company started.

Siggi Hilmarsson was raised in Iceland on a traditional Icelandic diet. After moving to the United States to attend Columbia Business School, Siggi became homesick and missed a staple of his childhood diet: skyr, the traditional Icelandic yogurt he grew up with. Yogurt here in the U.S. was much too sweet and had far too many ingredients for his liking, so he took matters into his own hands and made his first yogurt batch in his apartment kitchen.

From kitchen to dairy plant, from local New York City market to grocery retailers, demand for siggi’s grew quickly, as did the family of products. From its inception, creating yogurt with simple ingredients and not a lot of sugar has been siggi’s mission and that still holds true today.

What makes Icelandic yogurt different from other styles?

Skyr is the traditional yogurt of Iceland that has been made for over 1,000 years. It is a strained yogurt. It is made by incubating milk with live active cultures. Then the whey, the water naturally found in milk, is strained away to make for a much thicker, creamier and concentrated yogurt. It takes four times the milk to make one cup of siggi’s compared to regular yogurt, and siggi’s yogurt has more protein than sugar in each cup.

What are the nutritional benefits?

Thick, creamy and rich in protein, siggi’s skyr is made with simple ingredients and not a lot of sugar. What makes skyr so beneficial as an anytime snack is that it’s naturally low in calories, yet high in protein, vitamins and minerals. True to Icelandic tradition, siggi’s products do not contain any natural preservatives, thickeners, sweeteners, flavors or colors.

What products new products are launching in Kroger?

In 2019, the majority of Kroger stores will be expanding their lineup to include our vanilla and mixed berry 4% whole milk yogurts. These are creamy and delicious, and the whole milk yogurt makes for a very satisfying breakfast or snack.  Most stores will also be expanding their 0% lineup to include siggi’s Peach.

Any fun stories of comments/feedback from consumers on siggi’s that you’d like to share?

People are always amazed that there really is a person named siggi behind our delicious yogurt. When siggi meets consumers or dieticians at conferences, they are incredibly excited to meet the man who founded the company based on the “simple ingredients, not a lot of sugar” mission.

Try these yummy recipes using siggi’s yogurt.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Macaroons

Roasted Carrots with Carrot-Top Sauce and Chipotle Yogurt

Green Goddess Dressing