(Reuters) - French dairy firm Lactalis said on Friday it had agreed to buy siggi’s, the U.S.-based maker of Icelandic style skyr yogurts, for an undisclosed price.
Siggi’s with the tagline “simple ingredients, not a lot of sugar,” has tapped into a shift by consumers toward healthier eating. Its yogurts are at least 25 percent less sugary than leading flavored yogurts, according to its website.
Lactalis said the deal “further expands our yogurt platform in the U.S. with this unique and fast-growing yogurt brand.”
After moving to New York from Iceland, siggi’s founder Siggi Hilmarsson felt American yogurt was too sweet and artificial for his liking. He felt homesick for skyr, a sweet Icelandic yoghurt/curd concoction.
Based on a recipe sent by his mother, Siggi began making skyr and went on to establish his own company in 2005 to sell it in the United States.
Siggi’s will continue to operate from its New York City office and remain a standalone company under the leadership of Hilmarsson, Lactalis said in a statement.
“Our core values of clean ingredient label and less sugar will remain 100 percent unchanged. Consumers everywhere are actively trying to reduce sugar in their diets so our offering has a global relevance,” Hilmarsson said.
Privately held Lactalis is one of the world’s largest dairy companies, reporting annual sales of around 17 billion euros ($21 billion).
Separately, Swiss milk processor Emmi EMMN.S said it had decided to sell its 22 percent stake in siggi's to Lactalis.
Reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan in Gdynia; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath and Mark Potter
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