King Oscar sardines

The King Oscar export brand was founded in 1902, when King Oscar II, ruler of Norway and Sweden, gave Chr. Bjelland & Co [no], one of Norway's leading canning companies at the time, special royal permission to use his name and likeness on a line of sardine products.[1]

King Oscar (Sardines and Other Canned Seafood)
King Oscar Logo Big.png
Product typeSardines, tuna, salmon, herring, mackerel, cod, and other canned seafood
OwnerThai Union Group
MarketsNorway, United States, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Australia, South Africa.

Over the years, the King Oscar brand expanded into new markets, introduced new product lines, and was eventually acquired by several different parent companies as the sardine canning industry evolved in Norway. Today, King Oscar AS is owned by Thai Union Group, one of the largest seafood producers in the world.


In 1880, Norwegian fish canneries began exporting sardines.[2] At the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893, the Norwegian exhibition included smoked sardines.[3]

In 1903, a year after the royal permit had been granted, Chr. Bjelland & Co. first began exporting the King Oscar brand of sardines to the United States, and by 1920, the brand was established in the US and British markets.[4] In 1965, the company started exporting their sardines to Japan.[5]

Chr. Bjelland & Co. produced a ten-minute film called "Sardine fishing" in 1909 to market the brand; this was the first Norwegian commercial. The company also used the slogan "Out to conquer the world".[6]

In 1950, various King Oscar brisling sardine products were accorded kosher certification.[7][8]

In 1981, eleven Norwegian canneries merged to form a single company, Norway Foods, which acquired the King Oscar brand. Norway Foods was in turn acquired by Rieber & Søn ASA in 1996. Over the following years, the brand was introduced to various European countries.[9]

In 2008, King Oscar's central production facilities were moved to a facility in Gniewino, Poland. The company continues to maintain a production facility in Svolvær, Norway.[10]

King Oscar AS became the new owner of the brand in 2009. The company was purchased by Procuritas Capital Investments in 2010, and by Thai Union Group in 2014.[9][10]


While sardines have always been the company's flagship product, it also produces a variety of seafood products including brisling and Baltic sardines, herring, mackerel, salmon, tuna, cod, and specialty items, as well as fish salads and fish pâtés.


  1. ^ "King of the sea". The Norwegian American. 7 September 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  2. ^ Norwegian American Commerce. Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce. 1958. Norway made a slow beginning, but during the ... At first Norway produced pulp for export only, but gradually paper mills were started enabling the industry to complete the process from ... industry, but from the 1880s onward the process of canning sardines and other types of fish laid the foundations of a new and prosperous industry. At the turn of the century 29 canneries were in operation in Norway.
  3. ^ Roar Nielsen Tank; Harald Malling; Forening for reiselivet i Norge (1908). Tværs gjennem Norge̊, folkeliv i midnatssolens land (in Norwegian). A. Cammermeyers forlag.
  4. ^ O. B. Grimley (1937). The New Norway: A People with the Spirit of Cooperation. Griff-Forlaget. Canning — especially of fish products — commenced in the eighties of the last century, and Christian Bjelland of the city of Stavanger ... The export of canned brisling alone has in recent years amounted to about 24 million pounds per year.
  5. ^ Norges utenrikshandel (in Norwegian). 52. Utenriksdepartementet. 1974. pp. 13–.
  6. ^ Bergsagel, Erik R. (17 November 2016). "Norges eldste reklamefilm" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Historien om King Oscar - KingOskar". Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  8. ^ Patricia Crinion Bjaaland (1999). Living in Norway: Patricia Crinion Bjaaland's Classic Guide for New Residents. Palamedes Press. pp. 184–. ISBN 978-82-91570-01-3. ... Some Norwegian foods, such as the traditional King Oscar Brisling Sardines, are authorised as Kosher.
  9. ^ a b "Selger King Oscar-sardiner til utlandet" (in Norwegian). Dagens Næringsliv. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Canned tuna giant Thai Union buys Norway's King Oscar". BBC News. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2017.

Further readingEdit

  • Johnsen, J. G. (2002). "Out to conquer the world". King Oscar sardiner gjennom 100 år. Stavanger: Mesi Forlag. ISBN 82-91794-15-4

External linksEdit