When less is more: siggi’s yogurt

Ah, the difference a year makes! At FNCE 2013, I had an unpleasant experience with a standard, highly sweetened Greek yogurt brand on the last day of the conference. This year, I had siggi’s to save me! 
Tuesday morning, I was running on caffeine and carbs, hastily grabbed on the way from my hotel to my first educational session. I felt the desperate need for protein. When my morning session turned out to be far less interesting than expected, I bailed and beelined straight for the siggi’s dairy booth on the expo floor. “I’m craving pumpkin spice,” I cried, and was instantly rewarded:

I think I’m seriously addicted to this flavor, and I heard the same thing from a few of my friends/colleagues. All of siggi’s yogurt flavors are much lower in sugar than other brands of flavored yogurt. They are lightly sweetened, letting the natural tang of the yogurt shine through. (Interestingly, I had a conversation with a Canadian RD at the Almond Board of California breakfast I attended, and she said she’s noticed that yogurts sold in the US are much sweeter than those in Canada, either from sugar/corn syrup or from artificial sweeteners.)

siggi’s plain yogurt contains 4 grams of sugar, which would be entirely natural sugar in the form of lactose. By comparison, siggi’s flavored yogurts contain 9 to 11 grams of sugar, or 5 to 7 grams of added sugar. One teaspoon of sugar is 4 grams. (I always keep a big tub of plain Greek yogurt in my refrigerator, but I don’t eat it totally plain…I stir in bit of preserves or fig butter. The end result is similar in sweetness to siggi’s.)
The big-name Greek yogurt brands have about 17 grams of sugar and 12 grams of protein in their flavored varieties. siggi’s yogurt has 14 grams of protein and a simple ingredient list. My pumpkin & spice yogurt contained pasteurized skim milk, cane sugar, pasteurized cream, pumpkin, cinnamon, vanilla bean extract, lemon juice, nutmeg and live active cultures. 
Whereas I would classify many flavored yogurts as dessert (at best) siggi’s is a healthy, tasty addition to breakfast, lunch or snacktime. They have some cool flavors, too (orange & ginger is another favorite). Honestly, personally and professionally, siggi’s has the only flavored yogurts I am willing to recommend. I’ll take it one step further…I feel good about recommending them.
I had the opportunity to attend a siggi’s-sponsored breakfast and hear Siggi Hilmarsson talk about the story of his company. He moved to New York City from Iceland in 2004 and was shocked at how sweet the yogurt was. (As he pointed out, some have as much sugar as a soda.) He missed the lightly sweetened yogurt he grew up with, so he got a recipe from his mother and started making his own Icelandic yogurt, called skyr. As his yogurt-making skills grew, he made it his full-time job, moving his operation to a dairy plant in upstate New York.

Breakfast was siggi’s vanilla yogurt, berries, nuts and granola. A perfect start to the day (even at 6:45 a.m.). In keeping with siggi’s culture of health, breakfast attendees were also led through a fun morning workout, overlooking the interior of the CNN Center (alas, I was wearing a skirt that day, so I just snapped a few photos, while drinking my coffee).
Have you ever tried siggi’s? Find out if and where it’s available near you via their store locator! Hint, they have some delicious-looking recipes on their website, too.