French dairy company Lactalis has agreed to acquire US brand of Icelandic-style skyr yogurts Siggi’s for an undisclosed sum.
Emmi, which will sell its 22% stake in the brand, said it now aims to focus its US business on milk and cheese products.
Headquartered in New York, Siggi’s will remain a standalone company under its current senior leadership team, which includes its founder as CEO, and Bart Adlam as president.
Lactalis aims to profit from the impressive growth of the yogurt brand, which saw its revenue double last year.
“We are delighted to welcome Siggi’s to the Lactalis Group, which further expands our yogurt platform in the US with this unique and fast-growing yogurt brand,” said Lactalis president Emmanuel Besnier.
“We look forward to supporting Siggi’s as it continues to bring its retail partners exceptional dollar growth in the yogurt category.”
Siggi’s was founded by Siggi Hilmarsson who, after moving to New York from Iceland, found American yogurt too sweet and full of extra ingredients.
He started making his own yogurt in his kitchen. The recipe was based on skyr, the Icelandic-style yogurt Hilmarsson grew up eating in his native country. With seed investment from his former professor, Hilmarsson started selling the yogurt at an outdoor market in downtown Manhattan in 2006.
Since then the company has gone from a natural foods start-up to a fast-growing yogurt brand in conventional grocery. Yesterday it unveiled a 4% fat skyr yogurt range made with no added sugar, preservatives, sweeteners, colours or flavours.
Hilmarsson said: “We’re excited to join the Lactalis family which offers the opportunity to further fuel our growth. Our core values of clean ingredient label and less sugar will remain 100% unchanged. Consumers everywhere are actively trying to reduce sugar in their diets so our offering has a global relevance.”
In August, Emmi announced disappointing sales results for the first half of 2017, citing Brexit and weakness in the British pound as the main catalysts.
The Swiss dairy sought to broaden its international reach earlier in 2017 with the purchase of Brazilian producer Laticínios Porto Alegre.
The US is Emmi’s largest foreign market and it aims to shift focus to goat’s milk products (through its Cypress Grove, Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, and Meyenberg brands), organic, lactose-free cow’s milk products (Green Valley Organic), organic cows’s milk cheeses (Cowgirl Creamery) and speciality cheeses from Wisconsin and Switzerland (Emmi Roth USA).
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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