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Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Swedish Arla banned from selling skyr in Finland

By Staff

  • Not a product type but a trademark A Finnish court has agreed with Icelandic dairy MS that "skyr" is not a generic product type but a trademark owned by MS. Photo/MS

The Swedish dairy giant Arla is no longer allowed to sell dairy products under the name "skyr" in Finland. The Swedish company has been selling products labelled skyr in Finland for some time, marketing them as “the Icelandic super yoghurt”. This has frustrated the Icelandic dairy MS Iceland Dairies, which claims it owns the exclusive rights to skyr, claiming "skyr" was not a product type but a specific trademark, the local newspaper Morgunblaðið reports.

Read more: What exactly is „skyr“?

Arla is forced to remove any skyr products from Finnish shelves by the end of the week, as Finnish courts ruled that skyr is a trademark owned by MS. According to the court all dairy products sold as skyr in Finland have to be produced by MS, according to an MS recipe. The product does not have to be manufactured in Iceland, though.

Read more: Make your own skyr!

Despite MS having registered skyr as a trademark in Norway and Finland, it is simply the name of a traditional Icelandic dairy product  similar to yoghurt but made with whey. Skyr has indeed existed for hundreds of years before MS began marketing it and is manufactured and marketed by other dairies in Iceland. Nor is skyr a registered trademark in anywhere else than Finland and Norway, a fact the Swedish dairy giant Arla has exploited, capitalizing on the success of the tasty Icelandic treat selling it as "Icelandic super yoghurt" in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

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