From Live Cultures to Cultural Heritage


Valdimar Tr. Hafstein (University of Iceland)

Skyr, a dairy product from Iceland, has recently become a national food heritage. Its domestic and international marketing glides effortlessly from medieval literature to modern healthy living, promoting skyr as a unique, authentic, and wholesome product. We focus on how “heritage” and “tradition” are deployed as contemporary branding tools and how selective storytelling helps to move commodities. Following the the dairy product from udder to cup, we analyse branding efforts and campaigns produced in the last two decades for various types of skyr from a number of different producers in Iceland, Europe, and the United States. (Co-author: Jón Thor Pétursson)

Part of 12-01 Heritage Studies and Folkloristics, Part I: Heritagization, Folklore Studies, and Transformations of Traditions, Monday, October 18, 11:15 am–12:45 pm