The brand is bracing for a relaunch including new packaging and flavours

Skyr yoghurt maker Hesper Farm has secured six-figure investment to boost production and target national supermarket listings.

The Yorkshire-based business launched what it claimed to be the first Icelandic-style skyr yoghurt made in the UK from British milk in 2015, after founder and dairy farmer Sam Moorhouse visited Iceland to discover dairy’s “next big thing”.

Skyr is a high-protein fat-free yoghurt rich in calcium, which has been a staple of the Icelandic cuisine since the Viking times.

Since launching, the brand has grown listings regionally and its six-strong range is now available across Booths, Morrisons and other independent stores, with 55 tonnes of yoghurt produced every year.

It will now use the funding secured from two private investors to acquire further machinery enabling the business to boost capacity “with a view of gaining national contracts”, Moorhouse said.

Discussions are at an early stage with Ocado, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s – the latter having already collaborated with Hesper Farm on a trial to provide a skyr-based breakfast granola pot.

Additional funding will go towards NPD, as the brand prepares to launch a new range later this year including flavour combinations which are “very much new to market”, Moorhouse added.

The traditional yoghurt category has experienced tough times lately with volumes falling 3.6%, equating to 134 million fewer pots sold last year [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 2 December 2018].

Amid these challenges, brands are increasingly looking to boost their offer with new world-inspired products, including skyr, kefir and Lebanese-style yoghurt.

Cultures of the world: yoghurts category report 2019